Seafood Tapas with Romesco Sauce

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Tapas are a Spanish invention. The small servings are usually served as an appetizer, but they can also make a light meal. Tapas are made with a variety of ingredients —vegetables, cheese, ham, bread — but seafood and fish are abundant in the Mediterranean so fish or seafood tapas are a popular choice. Any variety of fresh fish can be used, but we chose bay scallops, shrimp, calamari tubes and tuna.

(Makes 4 meal servings or 6-8 appetizers)

24 small wooden skewers
4 ounces bay scallops
4 ounces shrimp, medium-large
2 calamari tubes, cut in 2-inch pieces
6 ounces tuna steak
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

Soak wooden skewers in water for 15-20 minutes to prevent burning on the grill.

Number of skewers per fish will vary depending on the size of the shrimp and scallops, but a good guide is:
8 tuna skewers-cut tuna into 8 thin slices and thread one strip per skewer
8 scallop skewers -thread about 4-5 small bay scallops per skewer
4 shrimp skewers – thread 2 shrimp per skewer
4 calamari skewers- 1 piece per skewer

Place skewers in a flat glass dish. Mix oil and lemon or lime juice, then pour over tapas and marinate about 15 minutes.

Grill on medium heat about 3- 4 minutes, turning once. Serve with Romesco sauce.
Romesco Sauce
Makes 2 ½ cups

This recipe takes a little more time than our typical recipes, but it makes enough to serve for several meals – and they all don’t have to be tapas! For example, add it to pasta or use as a dip for fresh or grilled vegetables. Either refrigerate for 4-5 days or freeze unused portion. (For a slightly different, flavor, try using a combination of almonds and skinless, roasted hazelnuts. If you’re gluten-sensitive, try adding ½ cup cooked white beans, or leave out the bread and use less chicken broth.)

1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup cubed French or white bread (crusts removed)
½ cup chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup chicken broth
1 large ripe tomato, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
¼ teaspoon chili powder

In large skillet over medium heat toast almonds, stirring continuously, until golden brown. Remove from heat and place in a food processor; grind and leave in processor.

In large skillet heat olive oil, add onion and bread cubes and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 4 minutes). Lower heat to medium low and add garlic, red peppers and chicken broth; simmer until peppers are tender (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and add tomatoes, vinegar, Italian parsley and chili powder. Add this mixture to the food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.