Ruby Tuesday #1 – Romesco de Peix

I have so far resisted this kind of post, but I like this one, which I found on Melinda’s blog. It’s hosted here… I am new to all this… learning curve ahead!

What can I share?

Firstly a photo of an amazing beetle, sent to me by an Africam friend, BigFrank. Africam was my first “home” on the www, my first introduction to message boards, live chat and virtual community. I am still a member of some lists that grew out of that experience.  Some of the community hang out here now (where the live chat is now hosted).

I love how the design (by the Great Designer) reminds me of African masks. For those of you who don’t know, I was born in South Africa and spent my first 29 years there. We have a collection of African masks on our stair landing, bought on various trips to South Africa, subsequent to our emigration to Australia.

OK, I typed all that and re-read and realised that Ruby Red has to one of your OWN photos that contains red.

So… deep breath… start again, Wendy…

I made a wonderful fish recipe a couple of weeks ago, and photographed the process. The dish is called Romesco de Peix and is amazingly easy to make but has a complexity and richness of flavour.  It’s a Catalan fish stew named after the Romesco (nut) sauce.  It’s from Moro by Sam and Sam Clark. We were taken to lunch there in 1999 by English friends, Liz and John. I still remember my first introduction to patatas bravas!

Romesco de Peix (fish stew with peppers, almonds and saffron)

6 TBS olive oil

1 large Spanish onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 dessertspoons finely chopped rosemary

3 bay leaves, preferably fresh

2 red peppers (capsicum), quartered, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika

400g tin diced tomatoes

150ml white wine

100ml hot fish stock (I used vegetable stock)

50 saffron strands, infused in 4 TBS boiling water (I didn’t count them!)

150g whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted and roughly ground (I used my Bamix to grind them)

650g firm fish fillets, cut into chunks (I used blue eye cod)

500g clams, rinsed (you can use any combination of fish, mussels, prawns and clams)

sea salt and black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat.  Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and sweet, about 20 minutes.

onions cooking and peppers, garlic and herbs to be added

onions cooking and peppers, garlic and herbs to be added

Now add the garlic, rosemary, bay and red pepper.  When the pepper has softened for at least 10 minutes, add the paprika and the tomatoes.

Peppers (capsicum) cooking

Peppers (capsicum) cooking

Simmer for another 10 minutes, then add the white wine and allow the alcohol to bubble away for a couple of minutes before adding the stock and the saffron-infused water.  Finally thicken with the almonds and taste for seasoning.

When you are almost ready to eat, add the fish and the clams, put the lid on and simmer until the fish is cooked through and the clams have steamed open (about 5 minutes).  Serve with new potatoes and/or a raw fennel salad.

Romesco de Peix

Romesco de Peix

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9 Responses to “Ruby Tuesday #1 – Romesco de Peix”

  1. Snooks Says:

    Oh that fish stew really made me feel hungry – it looks fantastic.

  2. Minkydo Says:

    The beetle is intriguing, while the food is YUMMY looking :) Glad you joined the fray :)

  3. Sarah Says:

    Your red looks MUCH yummier than the beetle! :-)

  4. magneto bold too Says:

    Oh YUM! But wouldn’t it cost like a bajillion dollars for that much saffron?

  5. wjcsydney Says:

    We had some saffron a friend of C’s brought from Turkey. But even if you use a couple of dollars worth of saffron – it’s worth it. I didn’t count saffron stamen lol. I just dumped in a dollop of it. We had this dish again tonight (I had frozen half the sauce and half the fish cubed and uncooked and cooked it up tonight) and it was superb again.

  6. magneto bold too Says:

    Oh, I was going to get some from Safeway the other day and it was something like 19 dollars for a small vial. So I decided against it! Frugal heart still…

  7. wjcsydney Says:

    Kel, I can find you some MUCH cheaper than that!

  8. Naomi in Oz Says:

    Hey! I’m on Africam too. Have been for about 7 years or more…..

  9. Suzie Cervenka Says:

    This entry looks good. Thank you!

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