Shrimp and Red Quinoa with Romesco Sauce is a healthy weeknight dinner that is sure to please. The textures alone make this recipe special, but then you add in the fact it's healthy.
You'll feel good making this for your family, knowing you're feeding them something that is good for their body. Here's a little information about the special ingredients in our recipe.
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Shrimp have many nutrients our bodies are often lacking in, to list a few: selenium, copper, choline, zinc, niacin, and vitamins b6 and b12. Selenium is hard to absorb for most people. Some foods and/or supplements that we take do not prevent selenium deficiencies, yet shrimp raises measured levels of selenium in those who eat it.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral important for cognitive function, a healthy immune system, and fertility in both men and women. Selenium is found in a variety of foods, the richest sources being Brazil nuts, seafood, and organ meats.
What is Romesco Sauce?
It is typically made from any mixture of roasted/salted Marcona raw almonds, pine nuts, and/or Hazelnuts, Roasted Garlic, Olive or Sunflower oil, and peppers like Piquillo pepper (zero heat), Bitxo peppers (similar to New Mexico chiles) and/or Nyora peppers (a sun-dried, small, round variety of red Bell peppers)
Once we finish today, we hope this will be the best pepper/tomato sauce you’ll ever taste. As cooks, we are focused on the quality of the food, ingredients, and textures.
Romesco sauce is one of America’s Best Chefs “Go-To” sauces…Iron Chef Bobby Flay’s
As cooks, we are focused on the quality of the food, ingredients, textures, and mouthfeel. My personal favorite choice of peppers for this dish is piquillo peppers.
What Do Piquillo Peppers Look Like?
The piquillo pepper is a variety of chili, capsicum annum, having a sweet taste with no heat, fruits about 7 cm long, well suited for growing in pots, which is traditionally grown in northern Spain near the town of Lodosa. Its name is derived from the Spanish saying “little beak.”
Where the piquillo pepper earns its place comes from the fact the peppers are not hot peppers; the taste is outstanding and available at most grocery stores.
Quinoa is a superfood because of the fact that it has 9 essential amino acids and makes up whole protein, which is only awesome because you could live off of it in emergencies.
In this dish, added red Bulgur and Red Quinoa to bump up the flavor and healthy bonus points.
Learn To Make Perfect Quinoa
Instruction How To Make Romesco Sauce
Step 1: Prepare the Ancho Chiles
- Place Ancho chiles in a small bowl suitable for the microwave.
- Heat one cup of water until hot (about 3 minutes in the microwave), then pour over the chiles.
- Allow chiles to steep until they soften, about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Toast the Bread
- In a pan over medium-high heat, add 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil.
- Add bread cubes and toast until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer toasted bread cubes to a plate and let cool.
Step 3: Make the Romesco Sauce
- Drain the softened Ancho Chiles, reserving ½ cup of the soaking liquid.
- Remove seeds with a paring knife and transfer chiles to a food processor.
- Add the reserved soaking liquid and all other sauce ingredients to the processor.
- Process until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve for a silky texture.
Step 4: Brine the Shrimp (Optional)
- Dissolve salt and sugar in boiling water, then cool down with ice to create a brine.
- Place cleaned shrimp in the room temperature brine.
- Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, but not too long to prevent texture changes.
Step 5: Cook the Shrimp
- Sauté the brined shrimp in a pan with 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil over medium-high heat.
- Cook until shrimp start turning pink around the edges, then turn and continue cooking until fully pink.
- Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain.
Step 6: Serve
- Warm the Romesco sauce in a saucepan to a suitable serving temperature.
- Add warm shrimp to the Romesco sauce to coat.
- Place fluffy cooked quinoa on a plate and top with the sauced shrimp.
- Garnish with a green herb like parsley or basil.
Romesco Shrimp with Red Quinoa
- 1 pound Peeled and Deviened Shrimp
- 7 ounces Piquillo Peppers drained, or 1 cup drained roasted red bell peppers from a jar,(Optional) tossed with ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 slice One inch-thick sliced country bread cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
- 8 cloves Garlic pasted
- 1 cup Marcocna Raw Almonds blanched, unsalted, roasted
- 1 teaspoon ground Coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
- 4 Ancho Chiles 1 ½ ounces, stems discarded
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Large Plum Tomatoes—halved seeded and very coarsely chopped
- ⅓ Vidalia onion
- Kosher salt
- ¾ cup Red Quinoa Usually available in the bulk aisle in your grocery store
- Put the Ancho Chile’s in a small microwavable bowl. Heat one cup of water in the microwave for 3 minutes, then add the hot water to the Chile's. Allow Chile's too steep until they soften, about 5 minutes.
- From there, toast the bread. Next, bring a pan to med-high heat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil then add your 1 inch cubed bread. Toast for about 5 minutes, what you are looking for is that nice toasted crisp on the outside. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the toasted bread cubes to a plate and let cool.
- After the 5-minute timer is up, drain the Ancho Chiles, reserving ½ cup of the soaking liquid. Using a sharp paring knife, slit Chile's and remove the seeds. Transfer the Chile's to a food processor. Add the reserved Chile-soaking liquid and all ingredients for the sauce and process until pure. Strain the Chile purée through a fine sieve(strainer) for silky consistency.
- Note: Brining is optional but recommended for enhancing flavor and moisture.Ingredients for Brine:WaterSaltSugarOnion powderGarlic powderOptional: Old Bay seasoning
Shrimp Brining Instructions:
- Step 1: Create the BrineIn a large pot, bring water to a boil.Stir in equal parts of salt and sugar until fully dissolved.For added flavor, incorporate your preferred seasonings, such as a sprinkle of Old Bay, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Step 2: Cool the BrineAfter the seasonings have simmered for 5 minutes, remove the pot from heat.To quickly cool the brine, pour it into a large bowl set over another bowl filled with ice. This method, known as an ice bath, will shock the brine, locking in the flavors.
- Step 3: Brine the ShrimpSubmerge the cleaned shrimp into the cooled brine.Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let the shrimp brine for at least 15 minutes.
Cooking the Shrimp
- Next, take your cleaned Shrimp and saute in a pan over medium-high heat with 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil /Or Grapeseed oil. From there you’ll be looking for the Shrimp to start turning pink around the edges. At that point, wait another minute or so, depending on how many Shrimp you're cooking. Then turn the Shrimp and continue cooking till all your Shrimp are a nice pink color. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to drain.
- (Chef Tip: place your oven on a low temp and add your plates while bringing everything together). Top your Quinoa with the Shrimp, add a little extra Romesco sauce on top, and garnish with a green herb you enjoy like parsley or basil.
Serving - in a saucepan, warm your romesco sauce to serving temperature. Remember, this is a non-cooked sauce to keep the vibrant flavor. Add your warm shrimp to the romesco sauce to coat all over. Add your fluffy quinoa to a warmed plate (follow instructions on quinoa package or watch our how-to video in the post above)
Red Quinoa Crab Salad w/ Avocado Crema