Spanish shrimp & grits with salsa romesco and manchego

S&G in ovenMother’s Day Brunch
Skip the cramped and crowned restaurants this Mother’s day and treat your mamá to a scrumptious home cooked brunch. Here are a few ideas to make it a memorable, Spanish inspired occasion.

Spanish Shrimp & Grits
Warm and enveloping as a sunbaked afternoon, shrimp and grits is the epitome of comfort food: thick, creamy, and luxurious. While I love the traditional Southern approach to this dish, here is a delectable Spanish twist. The grits are thickened with Manchego, layered with romesco and topped with tidbits of crispy chorizo.

Homemade romesco is glorious. In a pinch, however, a good store-bought jar will do just fine. Serves 8 as a starter/tapa, 4 as a main course.

Ingredients:s&g single
1.5 c polenta/grits
4.5 c water
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
1 cup young Manchego, grated
2 semi cured chorizos (about 5-6 oz total), diced
1 cup romesco sauce (see recipe below)
1 to 1.5 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
juice of ½ lemon

1. Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Stir in grits, salt, and butter. Reduce to simmer and cook uncovered, stirring now and then to prevent sticking, until grits are tender, 20-30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, warm romesco gently in a pan.
3. In a large skillet gently fry chorizo for five minutes or so, until nicely browned. Transfer to a warm place.
4. When grits are done stir in the Manchego, turn off heat, and cover.
5. In the same skillet used for chorizo, fry shrimp for a couple minutes, squeezing lemon over the pan as they cook. Remove from heat.
6. Spoon a layer of grits into each bowl, follow with a thin layer or romesco and finish with another of grits. Top each helping with a shrimp and chorizo chunks. Sprinkle with parsley.

spanish-romesco-sauce-aRomesco sauce
Salsa Romseco originated in Tarragona, a province in Catalonia that sprawls out along the Mediterranean coast in the northeast of Spain. Traditionally prepared as an accompaniment to fish and seafood, this pepper and almond sauce is also a fantastic partner to meat and vegetables. Try it with grilled asparagus, summer squash, or roasted cauliflower.

Ñora peppers are integral the distinctive taste of romesco. They are sold dried and then soaked before use. Makes 2-3 cups.

Ingredients:
4 dried ñora peppers
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1  head garlic, unpeeled
½ cup almonds, blanched
1 slice stale bread
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup sherry vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Place dried ñoras in a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut off the tip of the garlic head, rub off any loose skin, and place on a baking sheet. Roast until soft, 20-30 minutes.
3. Grind the almonds in a food processor until finely ground.
4. Heat a skillet over medium-low. Add a splash of the olive oil and fry the bread on both sides until golden brown. Transfer to a towel to cool. In the same skillet, fry the tomatoes for a few minutes. Add to processor along with the bread, torn into pieces.
5. Remove peppers from water and discard seeds and stems. Gently scrape the flesh from the skin using the back of a knife. Discard skin and add flesh to food processor. When soft, remove garlic from oven, squeeze cloves from their skins and add to processor.
6. Process this mixture until well blended. Gradually add olive oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt.

Complete your Mother’s Day meal with these tasty ideas:

Regalos
Looking for the perfect Mother’s day gift? The Spanish Table is loaded with gorgeous hand-painted ceramic tableware, cazuelas of all shapes and sizes, paella kits, olivewood cheese boards and cooking utensils, an exciting range of cookbooks and of course a stunning selection of delectable wines from the Iberian Peninsula and beyond!

– Rachel Adams

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