Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Flank steak with romesco sauce

The husband and I, while we share many interests and affections, have one area in which we diverge drastically: the sauce.

No, not sauce as in booze. We're both on board with that, silly! I mean sauces I make to go with food--tomato, cream, cranberry, fig-port, and now romesco.

He likes sauce. But I love it. I'm often at risk of drowning my food in it, if it's one I'm particularly fond of. I wonder if this is a very American tendency; I imagine the French and Italians use sauce sparingly, as a purposeful accent. Me, I sometimes return to the kitchen for another spoonful.

Awhile ago, we had dinner at our friends' house. Liz and Neal live down the street from us, which makes for easy and last-minute organizing, and even the occasional mid-week dinner party. We had grilled steak with romesco sauce, salad, bread, and cauliflower. I went a little nuts for the sauce, putting it on the steak and everything else. Nobody seemed to think that was weird, but maybe they were just being polite.

Liz might laugh that I still remember the menu, which we enjoyed at least six months ago, but my brain is a steel trap for food. Ask me what I read in the newspaper this morning and I have no idea, but I can tell you what I ate for lunch last Wednesday (leftover leftovers).

Anyhow, after a bit of of badgering on my part, she kindly provided me with the recipe for the romesco sauce. Or rather, she sent me a list of ingredients along with the singular instruction: "Dump it all in a food processor and let her rip."

And so I did. Aside from toasting the nuts and sauteing the garlic, it couldn't have been faster. I even had some bread crumbs I'd made the day before. The sauce turned out nearly as good as when we had it at Liz and Neal's house, but a little runnier than I would prefer. As I was dumping the entire jar of roasted red peppers in the food processor, I mused pointlessly, I wonder if I should have drained these. Well, yes. That would have been better. But the sauce still turned out gorgeously and it's the kind of recipe you can fiddle with and fix with oil, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and vinegar as you prefer. Just my type of thing.

I'm also fairly sure it will last a little while in the fridge. So far, I've only dipped some crackers in it, but I think it would be great on pork or chicken, or in place of mustard in a sandwich, with green beans, or simply on crostini, garnished with a crumble of goat cheese. The options are endless.

Liz's romesco sauce

(ingredients are approximations; revise to suit your taste)

1 14-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 12-oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/3 c. fresh bread crumbs
2-3 T sherry vinegar, or to taste
salt and pepper

Cook garlic in the olive oil until golden brown.

Dump all ingredients into a food processor and let her rip. Season to taste.


  1. It's like a grown up ketchup :)

    I love her directions "dump in food processor and let her rip". I like instructions like that!

  2. On almost everything I would agree...

    But steak... It must be a guy thing, I would take a little flavor maybe, but that looks to perfectly cooked to have to use a sauce to coer that taste

  3. I love romesco sauce! I've been meaning to make it from a recipe from the Ad Hoc cookbook, but it's complicated. Your recipe looks much easier! I'd use it on a lot of seafood like fish. I tried it first at Nopa, which had it with sardines, um, as an accent! ;-)

  4. Romesco sauce is so addicting. I could eat it on most anything. Heck, I can eat it just from a spoon. ;)

  5. I have got to try Romanesco sauce, i can tell i'd love it because I love the ingredients, but I've never actually tried it. And the steak looks cooked to perfection, its a real beauty.
    *kisses* HH

  6. tamilyn: good analogy!

    A Year: You are right, good steak doesn't need any sauce. I did try to control myself a little--that's why I put it on the bottom instead of the top.

    Ben: wow, I would love to see the recipe in the AH cookbook. I wonder how complicated it could be!

    CJ: Yes, totally.

    HH: You should try it--it's so simple and delicious.

  7. That steak looks amazing! Course the sauce sounds good too... ;)

  8. you can eat your steak any way you choose - this one looks like it is cooked perfectly!

  9. I grew up on flank steak marinated in teriyaki sauce... Romesco sounds great, I'm a sauce girl too... I love quick and easy sauces!

  10. I've been reading so much about romesco sauce, but still haven't made it. Usually it's served with pasta, isn't it? And while it keeps in the fridge, I bet it freezes like a dream too.
    I love your steak...perfectly cooked, no matter what sauce you use....rare.

  11. You had me at "romesco". I friggin' love that sauce. It does go with nearly everything. And I totally agree about the necessity of ample sauce; oftentimes I think restaurants don't supply enough, there should be sauce with every bite of meat/ fish that is sharing the same plate!

  12. i hit the sauce hard. it comes to the point where the actual food is completely shrouded, and i'm not ashamed of it. :)

  13. Bob: Thanks!

    doggybloggy: thanks so much--and thanks for stopping by!

    foodhoe: well I love teriyaki sauce too. Got a good recipe to share?

    Barbara: I'm not sure if it usually goes with pasta, but I had that idea too--it would be great over pasta!

    Connie: Yeah, why are restaurants stingy with the sauce?!

    grace: a girl after my own heart...

  14. Romesco sauce goes great with grilled seafood. Gotta love a sauce that gets whizzed in the processor. You're not alone in the over-saucing department, I go a bit overboard too :)

  15. So easy!! I love it!! and I had no idea Romesco was from Spain! It sounds more like something Italian.

  16. Sophie: Isn't it the best?

    shaz: It would be awesome with grilled seafood.

    Jessica: I know, right?

  17. I didn't realize that I had an entire category in my Google Reader dedicated to romesco sauce, but it turns out I do. Perhaps I'll have to figure out an immersion-blender version...