Years ago when I lived in Arizona, there was a delightful little Mexican cantina that we loved to frequent. The food was simply divine. The atmosphere transported you to another time, another place, and made sipping their signature Blueberry margarita a little piece of heaven.
I don’t think I could tell you what dish on that menu I liked best. It was all delicious. Fresh flavors prepared with fresh ingredients and blended together in unique Mexican and Spanish inspired dishes.
One of the recipes I often ordered was a Romesco like red sauce gently ladled over Mexican shrimp. It was a little spicy, a little smoky, and rich with ripe tomatoes and roasted red peppers.
I’ve strived to achieve that red sauce at home and I think I’ve come pretty darn close. Like a Spanish Romesco sauce, this sauce is made of toasted almonds, fresh herbs, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and the secret ingredient that I love so much but my family begs me to stop using… chipotle chili powder! I love the way the chipotle chili powder creates a smoky spicy flavor to the sauce.
And to make this sauce even more exciting, it’s simply prepared in a blender or food processor! Whoo Hoo!
It pairs beautifully with grilled, roasted or pan seared meats, shellfish, herbed white beans and your favorite pasta.
Beautiful in color and fresh in flavor, it’s a perfect spring and summer sauce. Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!
1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained (I prefer Muir Glen)
2 red bell peppers, roasted, skinned and seeded
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
¼ cup toasted almonds (can substitute with pecans or hazelnuts)
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons assorted coarsely chopped fresh herbs (oregano, Italian parsley,
¼ – ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (can substitute with regular chili powder)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a blender or food processor, add the tomatoes, roasted pepper, garlic, almonds, vinegar, sugar, fresh herbs and chile powder. Pulse until the ingredients are nicely blended.
Add the olive oil and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate unused portions for up to a week. When re-heating, bring to room temperature and if needed, gently warm on the stove top. Over-heating the sauce could cause it to separate.
Serve over grilled meats, shellfish, herbed white beans, or your favorite pasta.