Catalan Mixed Seafood Grill with Romesco Sauce
For the romesco sauce:
- 3 large tomatoes, about 1 1/2 lb. total, cored
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 slices whole grain bread, crusts removed
- 2 dried ají amarillos, soaked in warm water,
stemmed, seeded and deveined
- 6 dried Hungarian cherry chilies, soaked in
warm water, stemmed, seeded and deveined
- 1 small dried red chili
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined and
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup blanched almonds, lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts, lightly toasted
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
For the mixed seafood:
- 8 oz. small squid, cleaned
- 8 oz. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 monkfish fillet, about 8 oz., cut into 1-inch
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 18 Manila or other small clams, scrubbed and
any that do not close when touched discarded
- 18 mussels, scrubbed and any that do not close
when touched discarded
Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and gently squeeze out the seeds. Lightly coat the skins with some of the olive oil and place, cut sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the skins are loosened, about 10 minutes. Let cool, remove the skins and chop the tomatoes coarsely.
In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the oil. Add the bread slices and fry until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When the bread is cool enough to handle, tear into large pieces. Set aside.
In the same pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the oil. Add the soaked chilies, dried red chili and jalapeño and sauté until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
In a food processor, combine the bread, chilies, jalapeño, garlic, almonds, hazelnuts and parsley and puree until a thick paste forms. Add the tomatoes, paprika, vinegar, the 2 tsp. salt and the remaining oil and pulse until incorporated. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Transfer to a bowl and let stand at room temperature.
To prepare the mixed seafood, prepare a charcoal or gas grill for grilling over medium-high heat.
In a large bowl, toss the squid, shrimp and monkfish with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Grill the clams and mussels until the shells open, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard any that do not open.
Arrange the seafood on a serving platter and accompany with the romesco sauce. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma TASTE Magazine, "On the Beach," by Andy Harris (Summer 2002).