Grilled Chicken with Romescu

I love trying new things when cooking, new flavors and textures, new foods and new cuisines. This past week I experimented with a new sauce, romescu sauce. This sauce is one of the many delicious looking sauces in a great cookbook I have, The Sauce Book by Paul Gaylor. Just flipping through this book is so interesting. It is set up by region/country and I love seeing what people eat all around the world. I've been eyeing this romescu for a while now, it has pretty simple ingredients, and they're all ingredients that I love; roasted red peppers, tomatoes, paprika, almonds, garlic, what's not to love! Boy was I right, this sauce was absolutely delicious, the perfect accompaniment some summer grilled chicken.

This cookbook has a little blurb about each sauce before the ingredient list. I love this because it gives you a little idea what you can do with each sauce. Before the romescu the author writes:

One of the great Spanish sauces, dating back hundreds of years to Tarragona in the Catalonia region. Whether made with hazelnuts or almonds, it never fails to impress. I think I've served it with just about every type of grilled fish, vegetable, meat, even fried eggs - utterly versatile. 

I agree, it is utterly versatile, and super simple to make. I had it with chicken one night, on a sandwich as a great spread the next night, and a few days later as sauce on a grilled Spanish inspired pizza. And there are so many other ways it could be used. This is definitely one sauce I will be making again. It's so easy, and you don't even have to cook anything (except the pepper if you don't have any roasted red peppers on hand)

Just making this one recipe got me thinking about Spanish cuisine, and I realized how little I know about Spanish food. I can only name a few Spanish dishes off the top of my head (paella anyone?). This recipe has therefore inspired me to try out some other Spanish foods. This is my goal for the summer, learn about and how to cook Spanish food, wish me luck!



The Sauce Book

 by Paul Gayler


  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice white bread, cut into cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup almonds or hazelnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or 1 dried red chile)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 12 ounces roasted red peppers
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 8 ounces tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan, add the bread cubes and fry until golden. Add the garlic, almonds or hazelnuts, red pepper flakes, and paprika, and cook for another 30 seconds.

Transfer to a blender and add the roasted red peppers and vinegar. Blitz to a pulp. Using the feeder tube and with the motor running, gradually trickles in the remaining olive oil.

Add the tomatoes, blitz again, and season to taste.

Spicy Party Mix

If you know me at all then you know that I love munchies and finger food. I know I'm fighting a losing battle when confronted with a bowl of anything that just pops into my mouth too easily. This mix does just that. A bowl full of pretzels, nuts and chex covered with a sweet and spicy glaze. A little bit of heat, a little bit of sweet, and a whole lot of crunch creates a beautiful fusion of flavors and textures.

I think this is the perfect mix for the cool weather; the flavors are warm and comforting. Pull it out at Thanksgiving or Christmas and watch it disappear. If you're looking for something a little different to serve before or after dinner to satisfy your munching cravings, this is the mix for you. I found this recipe in the book The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz, an excellent book for anyone interested in food and Paris. The only thing I changed this time around was adding some Chex. He originally calls for two cups each of nuts and pretzels, but I love the airiness and crunch of Chex, so I decided to add some in, and I think it was a good addition. So go ahead, throw this mix together and be amazed. In the book, David Lebovitz writes, "it makes an excellent nibble." I couldn't have said it better myself.

Sweet and spicy and irresistible

You need some maple syrup, 

make sure it's the real stuff

Pour it into a bowl to start

Start adding some delicious flavors,

first up, cinnamon

A little bit of cocoa powder

And the chili powder

A little brown sugar and some butter

round out the yummy glaze

Grab your nut mixture, 

I chose almonds, cashews and peanuts

Mix it all up with the chex and pretzels and bake

Ready to party!

Spicy Party Mix
Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

  • 1 1/3 cups (275 grams) raw nuts - any combination of pecans, almonds, peanuts, cashews and hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) butter
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/3 cups (100 grams) small pretzel twists
  • 1 1/3 cups corn Chex cereal

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, maple syrup and cocoa. 

Stir the warm nuts into the spice mixture to coat them completely, then sprinkle on the salt. 

Mix in the pretzels and Chex, then spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are well glazed and browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Once cool, break up the clusters and serve.

(If you would rather leave out the chex and follow the original recipe, increase the nuts and pretzels to 2 cups each and omit the chex.)