Romesco Sauce – Steak – Polenta

Romesco Sauce

Ingredients:

55g of toasted almond flakes
4 red capsicums
3 long red chilli’s; cut in half (length ways) and remove the seeds
3 vine ripened tomatoes; cut in half and remove the seeds
3 cloves of garlic
1 lime (juice only)
½ bunch of coriander (chopped finely)
¼ bunch of mint (chopped finely)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
I like to use the Dandaragan Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil to finish this dish
Pink Murray River Sea Salt

Method:  

– pre-heat oven to 150° celsius
– place the tomatoes cut side up on baking paper and season well with pink salt and the Dandaragan EVOO – place in the oven and allow to slowly cook for 45-50 mins until the tomatoes have softened and the skin has started to come away – remove and place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap for 5 mins to allow the tomatoes to sweat (this will make the skin easier to remove)
– repeat the above process with the chilli’s – you can put them in the oven at the same time –
they will only take about 8-10 mins though – keep your eye on them as they will go from being
ready to burning quickly – place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap (same as tomatoes) and
remove the flesh from the skin
– if you have a gas stove – put the gas on high flame and char the capsicums on each side until they are blackened (using a pair of tongs to turn the capsicum) make sure you don’t burn yourself
though! Once the capsicums are done – place them in a bowl and cover with cling wrap for 10-15
mins.  Peel the capsicum and be sure to remove all the blackened skin – be careful to discard all
the seeds (you can either quickly rinse the peeled capsicum or wipe with kitchen towel to help
remove the last of the blackened skin and seeds)
– if you don’t have a gas stove simply put the capsicums in the oven at 180 – 200° celsius for 30-40 minutes until the skin blisters then put in a bowl and cover with cling wrap as above
– in a non stick fry pan – place a thin layer of almond flakes and allow to cook on a medium heat –
keep your eye on them and stir frequently with a wooden spoon – allow to go golden in colour on
both sides – remove from the pan once done (otherwise the heat in the pan will continue to cook the almonds and you’ll risk burning them)
– peel the garlic and keep the cloves whole – place in a small saucepan and cover in EVOO (you can use a cheaper olive oil for this process).  Cover the garlic completely with EVOO and place the saucepan on a medium to low heat – allow the garlic to cook in the olive oil until it goes a light
golden colour – you need to be patient with this process and don’t be tempted to cook on a higher heat (as the garlic will burn on the outside and remain raw in the middle). – will take approx 10-15 mins – once the garlic is golden on the outside remove from the oil (you can keep the oil and use for salad dressings or homemade aioli later!!)
– place the garlic, capsicum, tomato and chilli flesh in a food processor and pulse 2 to 3 times for 2
to 3 seconds at a time max (you want this sauce to be chunky).  Add the toasted almonds and
pulse one further time (if you don’t have a food processor you can easily chop everything up with
a knife)
– remove the mixture from the food processor into a large mixing bowl – add the chopped
coriander, mint, lime juice, EVOO and pink salt and mix / combine well – you may need to adjust
the amount of lime juice and pink salt you use depending on your preference – if you get the
balance right this is a knock out sauce!

To serve:

–  blitz the polenta with a hand blender to make it silky smooth
–  place the polenta in the middle of the plate and then gently place the cooked steak on the polenta
– finish by placing the Romesco on top of the steak
–  you may also like to put some Romesco in a small dish so guests can help themselves to seconds!! 

Suggestions:

–  this sauce is at it’s best within 24 hours of being made
– you can keep it for 4-5 days in an air tight container ensuring you cover the top with olive oil to retain the flavour – add a touch more lime juice if required to refresh the sauce
–  goes really well with any cooked protein particularly; octopus, chicken and lamb fresh off the BBQ!!
–  you can also stir the sauce through pasta; goes really well in a pasta salad using Orecchettie,
rocket, cherry tomatoes, poached prawns and lemon zest
–  you can also place some of the sauce on the skin side of a piece of raw fish and wrap the fish in
“Tunisian Brik Pastry” – cook the fish in non stick fry pan – place the fish in fry pan skin side down
first / then turn once the pastry is golden and crispy and allow the other side to go golden (pastry
will create a steaming effect with the fish so will keep it beautifully moist) – the pastry will go
crispy and slightly see through, so you will see the beautiful colour of the Romesco Sauce coming
through the pastry – great for dinner parties and a super easy way to avoid the skin of the fish sticking to the pan!!

Silky Polenta

Ingredients:

3 cups of “fine” polenta
4-5 cups of water or chicken stock
1 cup of finely freshly grated paramesan cheese
Pink Murray RiverSeaSalt
Freshly ground pepper

Method: 

–  place the polenta in a heavy based sauce pan with high sides and pour in the cold water / stock
– bring to the boil and stir constantly to avoid lumps – if the polenta becomes too think simply add more cold liquid – once it has come to the boil reduce the heat to medium and allow the grains to cool – stir constantly to avoid becoming lumpy and again add more liquid if  the texture becomes too think – allow to cook for 10-15 mins
– once the polenta is cooked – stir in the grated parmesan and season to taste
– use the stick blender to ensure silky smooth texture just before you are ready to serve

Suggestions:

– to re-heat the polenta simply add more cold liquid and bring back up to the heat – you’ll need to adjust the seasoning / parmesan to allow for the extra liquid you’ve added
– this style of polenta also goes really well with braised lamb, chicken cacciatore or veal schnitzel

Hi everyone

Sorry for the loooooooooooooong gap between posting recipes……………. hopefully you will all enjoy the latest instalment though and I will be quickly forgiven xx

This dish very simply is “Romesco Sauce – Steak – Polenta”.

The Romesco Sauce is one of my favourite sauces to make and a real crowd pleaser; offering beautiful colour, textures, flavours and also the added benefit of a slight kick of chilli at the end.

I’ve used a rib-eye fillet on this occasion, as I was cooking the meat in a fry pan.  The meat was sooooo tender, I could have cut it with a butter knife!!  I’ve not given any instruction in the recipe for cooking the steak as I figure there are hundreds of books / websites that cover this already in great detail.  All I will say is …………. make sure you allow the meat to come to room temperature before you cook it – the pan or BBQ needs to be really hot – season the meat once it hits the fry pan / grill ie not before – allow the meat to rest before serving – buy the best cut of meat you can afford – wooooops I think I might of got carried away there an given instructions!!

For the polenta I’ve used “fine grain” Polenta.  I think this basically gives a much smoother / silkier texture AND is much easier to use then the regular polenta.  I believe the secret re great tasting polenta is simple …….. use plenty of really good quality parmesan cheese to finish the dish (ie once the polenta grains are cooked) and ensure you season it really well with salt and fresh pepper.  The final step is to use a stick blender to ensure the polenta achieves the same super smooth texture as you see in the photos.

Speaking of the photos ………… I am sure you will all agree how amazing the photos look – a BIG thanks to my mate Samina for taking all the images :O).  Also a MASSIVE thank you to Rahni for helping me navigate all the techie stuff and being so patient with me :O)).

Let me know what you guys think of the recipe.

Enjoy!!

Terase

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