Halibut in Hazelnut Romesco with PotatoesHere was a dinner where I could combine fish with potatoes and an intriguing romesco sauce, which unabashedly uses chopped nuts to great effect. I made the “Halibut in Hazelnut Romesco with Potatoes,” from the October 2008 issue of Bön Appetit, but used 24 oz. of tilapia instead of halibut. This was fine. I broiled my tomato for 6 minutes and enjoyed how easily the skin peeled off, once it was cool enough to handle. I did not “husk” my hazelnuts, but did not regret this. I used jarred Mancini sweet roasted peppers in the processed sauce, along with the fabulous smoked paprika from La Chinata. I used red wine vinegar instead of Sherry wine vinegar (no problem).

Instead of using Yukon Gold potatoes, I used some lovely yellow, red, and blue fingerlings. These steamed for 23 minutes. I used vegetable-bouillon broth, rather than chicken broth, simmering the partially cooked fish in the sauce for 3 minutes. The sauce was perfectly thick and a bit spicy. Beware of the hit of even a tiny bit of cayenne pepper. The flavor of the final sauce included no recognizable nuttiness; it was more “smoky,” thanks to that paprika. The sauce was absolutely magnificent atop the potatoes. This is a grown-up meal that you’ll be proud to serve.

RECIPE: unashamed pleasures of nuts, roasted peppers, smoked paprika, fish, and potatoes
PREP TIME: you should be able to pull this together in less than one hour
TASTE: a smoky, rich sauce is the magical partner of hearty potatoes and firm fish

I’m indulging in wintry comfort foods, and want to cook more for next time. I’ll try “Game Hens with Chutney-Mustard Glaze,” from The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes, by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association, along with “Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables for Two,” from the November 2007 issue of Cook’s Illustrated. Wow! Come back to my site on Sunday, February 22, to see the results of this project.