Romesco Sauce  (A Picante one )

(From A Catalan Cookery Book  Irving Davis ISBN 780907325925)

A good slice of bread

3 cloves of garlic

3 or 4 topmates grilled on a wood fire

12 grilled, blanched Almonds

a large glass of wine

a soup spoon of paprica

a very little chilli pepper

a teaspoon of wine vinegar

Fry the bread in olive oil, add all the ingredients into a food blender (Pestle and mortar if you want to be totally authentic) and whizz.  Fry the mixture in the same pan as the bread for a 10 minutes or so.  If you are using this with fish , top the fish with the mixture after a minute or so and bake fish and sauce together in a shallow pan on a slow fire (or low oven, uncovered) for about 20 minutes.

The Sweeter one , again Davis’ recipe.

40 grilled, blanched almonds,

3 cloves of garlic grilled on wood embers,

a small slice of raw onion

A carquinyoli (Dry catalan biscuit) ( I used toast and added a tiny amount of honey, just in case it is a sweet biscuit!)

teaspoon sweet paprica

chopped parsley

a very slight quantity of hot red chilli powder

3 – 4 large tomatoes grilled on a wood fire

teaspoon of wine vinegar

Olive oil.

Whizz all in food processor  until very smooth.  Again,  you can use a pestle and mortar.  You can. ….

Rick Steins recipe is much longer!

His includes Nora pepper which I haven’t seen in the UK but might be available!  I have them growing in the garden.

Nora Peppers on the warm side of sweet.

Nora Peppers on the warm side of sweet.

1 dried Nora pepper

225g small vine ripened tomatoes halved

15g Hazelnut (I used almonds because they grow here on the finca)

120 ml Olive oil

4 fat cloves of garlic

15g day old bread ( he says cut off the crusts!)

a pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper.

Much more complicated…. soak pepper for an hour, Bake Tomatoes for 20 min, nuts  for 5.

Fry bread and garlic.

Scrape flesh of the Nora skins and add the flesh not the skin and everything else  except oil into a Food processor and whizz.

Dribble the oil in to produce a mayonnaise type sauce. Yum!


Spicy Tortilla with sun dried tomatoes

one onion diced

one red bell pepper sliced

two big potatoes 3cm dice

12 eggs lightly beaten

Sweet ground pimento

Ground coriander

Olive oil

a handful of Sun dried tomatoes


Peel, dice and bring the potatoes to the boil in lightly salted cold water. Simmer for five minutes only, drain the water and leave in the pan.

Dice and fry the onions slowly in olive oil and a sprinkling of salt while you prepare the oven proof baking dish as follows.

Pour a good glug of olive oil in the bottom of the dish.

Sprinkle  2 tsp of ground coriander and 4 tsp of ground sweet pepper over the oil. Then the handful of chopped up sun dried tomatoes.

Fried onions, (soft and golden) next and then the sautéed peppers.  They don’t need to be cooked through, but start them off.

The part boiled potatoes are next then the eggs and put it into an oven at about 190 for 15- 20 minutes or until just set.

A nice chunk of fresh bread to go with it or a bit of salad and this will feed 7 -8 bodies.


Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

A Classic french dish.

You need a casserole pan for this, oven and hob friendly

A chicken,  whole or portioned. (Yes, free range and organic is best if you like!)

garlic, 40 cloves of garlic with the loose papery jackets off but in their pink skins still.

drop of white wine or vermouth, 1/2 a glass

thyme just the leaves, pulled off against the grain,

one fresh bay leaf,

spring onions  6 ish or baby leeks 2  or fresh young onions, very finely sliced

salt, pepper,

butter, olive oil, (yes, both)


Brown off the chicken in a pan with the oil and butter, set aside. Not easy with a whole bird but do your best.

Put the garlic in the pan with the rest of the ingredients, cook for about a minute.

Put the chicken back in the pot making sure there is garlic  over the top of the chicken as well as under it.

Put the lid on and cook in a moderate oven for about an hour and a half.

To eat this squeeze the garlic out of it’s jacket onto the bread and eat it with the chicken dipped into the juices.

Some say this needs a salad with it.  You can if you want to.

Green and crunchy with a sharpish dressing would be good.

We ate it just the bread and chicken… So good.

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