Brainy Potatoes with Romesco Sauce

Cooking With Rania - "Halloween Recipes"
KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live 10/21/2009

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Brainy Potatoes with Romesco Sauce

1 Ancho Chile – stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup whole blanched almonds
1/2 medium onion – thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic – smashed
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
3/4 cup roughly chopped Pepadew peppers
1 slice stale white bread – roughly torn
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Brainy Potatoes:
1 pound baby red potatoes

For the sauce:
Toast the Ancho Chile in a small dry skillet over medium high heat, turning and flattening with a spatula, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Put the chile in a medium bowl and over with boiling water for about 10 minutes, to soften. Drain, chop roughly and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the almonds. Cook, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a plate, leaving the oil in the skillet. Add the softened chile, the onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the onions are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the paprika and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Scrape the onion mixture into a sieve set over a bowl and reserve 3 tablespoons of the strained olive oil.
Pulse the onion mixture, almonds, peppers, bread and vinegar into a food processor until coarse. With the motor running, drizzle in the reserved olive oil. Scrape the sauce into 4 small serving bowls, cover, and set in a warm place while you cook the shrimp.
For the Brainy Potatoes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss with enough olive oil to coat lightly. Season the potatoes with sea salt. Roast until the skins a crisp and the potatoes are tender, about 1 hour. Allow the potatoes to cool so that the skins begin to wrinkle.
To serve:
Place a bowl of the Romesco Sauce on a platter and surround the bowl with the brainy potatoes. Stick decorative toothpick into the potatoes to assist with the dipping.
Serves: 6

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