I’m always happy eating grilled seafood with a garlicky mayonnaise, but sometimes it’s good to ring the changes. The sauce, sometimes called romesco, originated in Catalonia in Spain, and is a blend of roasted peppers, tomatoes, nuts, vinegar and olive oil. You can use it straight away but it benefits from a night in the fridge for the flavours to develop.
- 4 medium to large squid, prepared and cleaned
- 12 king prawns, shell on
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish
- FOR THE SWEET PEPPER SAUCE
- 2 red peppers
- 1 thick slice of ciabatta or farmhouse white bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks
- Olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 ripe tomatoes, e.g. plum, on the vine
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 60g blanched almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1–2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- First make the sauce. Heat a grill until very hot. Put the peppers on a foil-lined baking btray and place under the grill. Cook for 5 minutes, turning regularly until the skin is blackened and blistered all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside to cool.
- Cook the bread chunks for 2 minutes in a small frying pan with a dash of oil, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute until the garlic is tender and the bread toasted. By this stage the peppers should have cooled and it will be easy to peel and rub off the charred skins. Peel, deseed and roughly chop them, then place in a blender. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the peppers with the bread and garlic. Blitz to form a rough paste.
- Add the smoked paprika, chilli flakes, almonds, lemon juice, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper to the blender and blitz until well mixed. Taste and adjust the seasoning. With the motor running, slowly pour in 100ml olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning again if necessary. Allow to come to room temperature and stir well before serving.
- Prepare the seafood. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat until hot. Lightly score one side of the squid in a diamond pattern before cutting into strips. Toss the prawns and squid together in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the prawns on the hot griddle and cook for 2½–3 minutes. Starting diamond side up, cook the squid for about 1 minute on each side. Leave it to curl up, and give it a further minute until just cooked.
- Serve the seafood hot, garnished with parsley, and with the sweet pepper sauce alongside.
From Ramsay’s Home Cooking by Gordon Ramsay.