Cod-Stuffed Pequillo Peppers with Romesco Sauce


Recipe from California Walnuts:

Spain is known for its delicious finger food or pintxos featuring the likes of cheeses, seafood, ham and nuts – making it a rich resource for inspiration.  Their Peppers Stuffed with Romesco Cod with Walnuts are a gussied up version of a classic, and a great way to work in veggies during the days of indulgence.  This nutritious, full-flavored mouthful adds zest to any spread, and it’s surprisingly straightforward to make.  A bonus: the walnut romesco sauce can be made on its own and used in a variety of other formats, like as a dip or served with a lean protein as an entrée.

Walnut-Cod_stuffed_Pequillo copy


Cod-Stuffed Pequillo Peppers with Romesco Sauce

All elements of this colorful, flavorful dish may be prepared ahead of time.  And since the stuffed peppers are served at room temperature, they are perfect for a picnic, luncheon or buffet, with crusty bread to go along.  Romesco is a frequent condiment in Spanish cookery, and there are many ways of making this pungent sauce.  Among the key elements are its red color, and a smoky flavor achieved by the addition of paprika, along with roasted tomatoes, onions and walnuts.

1 pound salted cod fillets, soaked and desalted (see Notes below)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded and sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more if needed
18 – 20 whole, roasted and peeled piquillo peppers (see Notes below)
Walnut romesco sauce (recipe follows)

*Notes:   Dried cod, preserved in salt, is available in many well-stocked supermarkets and fish markets, packed in 1-pound wooden boxes.  It must be soaked in several changes of cold water to soften, desalt and revive it.  Small fillets (like those in the boxes), need about 24 hours of soaking in the refrigerator and 3 changes of water.  After soaking, it looks and feels like fresh fish, and is just as perishable, so use it within one day or freeze it.

Whole roasted pequillo peppers, imported from Spain are sold in jars in specialty markets.  They are about the size of a large jalapeno pepper, and their cone shape makes them perfect for stuffing.  If they are not available, any whole roasted and peeled pepper, with a mild flavor, may be substituted—though if the peppers are large, you will yield fewer of them, with more stuffing.

To prepare the stuffing, place the soaked and desalted cod in a saucepan and add enough water to cover.  Bring just to a simmer and cook gently, without boiling, for about 10 minutes.  Drain well, and when the fish is cool enough to handle, either shred it with two forks or chop it coarsely with a knife.  Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the green pepper, onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 7 minutes, until soft.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the cod, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add the eggs and 3 tablespoons of the parsley.  Season with salt and pepper, keeping in mind the mixture should be quite flavorful.

Stuff each pequillo pepper with 3 – 4 tablespoons of the cod mixture.  Arrange on a platter, spoon some of the romesco sauce over the peppers and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.  Pass the remaining sauce at the table.

For the walnut romesco sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, peeled and cut in 3 pieces
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup chopped, toasted California Walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons diced pimientos (available in supermarkets, in small jars)
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet or saucepan over moderate heat.  Add the garlic and stir occasionally until it has browned lightly, 3 – 4 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover the pan and let cool.  Remove the garlic from the oil and set it aside.  Pour the oil into a baking pan.   Spread the tomatoes and onions over the oil then toss to coat.   Bake for 45  minutes, stirring twice.  Cool to room temperature.

Transfer the roasted tomato-onion mixture to a food processor.  Add the reserved browned garlic clove, the walnuts, olive oil, vinegar, pimientos and paprika, and process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind the sauce should have some kick to it.

You will have about 2 cups of romesco. Transfer it to a jar, cover and refrigerate until serving.

Makes 18 – 20 stuffed peppers, serving 6 or more

Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories, 18g protein, 13g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 580mg sodium, 105mg cholesterol, 26g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 1g omega-3

New Gluten-Free Cookbook by Kyra Bussanich

Food Network’s Cupcake Wars winner Kyra Bussanich has just released her new guten-free cookbook, entitled “Sweet Cravings, 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle”.

The book includes over 50 delicious recipes, including this one for Apple Crisp:

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Recipe
Makes about 8 servings

  • 6 large / 906 g tart apples (Pippin or Granny Smith)
  • 1/3 cup / 76 g sugar, or 1/4 cup / 76 g maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons / 16 g tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon / 7.8 g ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon / 1.1 g Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon / .9 g ground ginger
  • Generous pinch / 3.6 g salt
  • 3 tablespoons / 42 g cold butter


  • 1/2 cup / 89 g sweet white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup / 74 g millet flour
  • 1/2 cup / 67 g tapioca starch
  • 1 cup packed / 244 g golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon / 2.6 g ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon / 4.7 g salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon / 1.1 g Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon / .9 g ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup / 170 g butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup / 68 g gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup / 51 g chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4- inch slices. Put the apple slices into a large bowl and sprinkle the sugar over the top. Add the tapioca starch, cinnamon, five-spice, ginger, and salt and toss together to evenly coat the apple slices. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking pan, dot the top with pieces of the butter and set aside.

To make the topping, combine the flours, tapioca starch, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, five-spice, and ginger in a mixing bowl. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix in the butter until it is uniformly incorporated into the flour mixture. Stir in the oats and pecans.

Crumble the oat topping evenly over the apples. Bake until the topping is golden brown and set and the apples are warm and bubbly, 55 to 60 minutes.

You can prepare everything ahead of time. Refrigerate the apple filling and keep the topping frozen until ready to assemble and bake. Don’t refrigerate the unbaked topping overnight, as the millet flour will interact with the butter and taste and smell cheesy when it’s baked.

List $12.98 Hardcover $9.99 Kindle
144 pages color smooth glossy paper
Ten Speed Press
First Edition September 10, 2013
ISBN-10: 1607743604 ISBN-13: 978-1607743606

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Penfold’s Wine Ambassador and SOMM Film Star: DLynn Proctor

An interesting interview on TasteTV’s “wineFLIGHT” with DLynn Proctor, master sommelier and wine ambassador for Penfold’s, filmed at the America’s Cup in San Francisco. Excerpt from “TASTEABLE: California”

DLynn also stars in the hit wine documentary, SOMM.


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Duck Confit: Mundaka Carmel

Chef Brandon Miller (below) of Mundaka restaurant has taken confit to a new level with his spiced duck. The dish is marinated overnight in a variety of herbs, then slow roasted, and finally sauteed so the skin is crispy, and oven-baked to complete the preparation.

The confit is also paired with a Petite Sirah from Twisted Roots vineyards.

Named after a surf town in northern Spain, Mundaka is one of Carmel, California’s most popular restaurants, especially among chefs because of its late night hours.

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Recipe: Love You Berry Much Sparkler

The heat is turning up, and nothing refreshes like some fruit juice

Of course, it is much more refreshing with something sparkling in it.

Love You Berry Much Sparkler

3 oz VOGA Sparkling
.75 oz Strawberry Liqueur
2 oz Strawberry Puree
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
1.5 Tsp. Sugar
Mint for Garnish
Combine VOGA Sparkling, strawberry liqueur, strawberry puree, lemon juice and sugar in a glass. Stir and garnish with mint. 

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Cocktail Recipes for Beach Plum Gin Liqueur


Greenhook Ginsmiths– Brooklyn’s boutique based distillery releases its second run of the highly regarded small batch BEACH PLUM GIN LIQUEUR. 

What can you do with it? Here are a few ideas:



2oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

½ oz earl grey and mint infused simple syrup

½ oz lemon juice

2 dashes Black tea bitters or Angostura bitters

Fever Tree Bitter lemon


Add Beach Plum Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters to mixing glass. Stir with ice. Strain into rocks-filled Collins glass. Top with Fever Tree Bitter lemon. Garnish with mint sprig.


**Earl Grey and Mint infused simple syrup

1 earl grey teabag

1 cup demerara sugar

1 cup fresh mint leaves

2 cups boiling water


Stir until sugar is dissolved in water. Remove teabag. Strain mint leaves.



1oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

½ oz Yellow “Jaune” Chartreuse

½ oz Gran Marnier or Triple Sec

½ oz tangerine juice

Brut Champagne

crushed ice



Add Beach Plum Gin, Chartreuse, Gran Marnier, and tangerine to mixing glass. Shake with ice. Strain into crushed ice- filled wine glass. Top with Champagne. Garnish with orange twist.



2oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

½ oz lime juice

½ oz vanilla simple syrup

egg white

Rare Lime Bitters

Peychaud’s Bitters



Add Beach Plum Gin, vanilla simple syrup, lime juice, egg white, and Lime Bitters to shaker. Cover and “dry” shake vigorously. Add ice and shake. Strain into coup or cocktail glass. Top with 3-4 drops Pechaud’s Bitters.


** Vanilla Simple Syrup

1 vanilla bean

1 cup demerara sugar

2 cups boiling water



1oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

1oz Greenhook Gin

½ oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth

½ oz Bonal Gentiane Quina

Angostura Bitters



Add Beach Plum Gin, gin, Dolin Blanc, Bonal, and bitters to mixing glass. Add ice. Stir. Strain into coup or cocktail glass. Garnish with burnt orange peel.




1½ oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

½ oz Sambuca agli Agrumi

1 oz grapefruit juice

vanilla kosher salt and sugar mixture



Rim coup or cocktail glass with vanilla sugar/salt mixture. Add Beach Plum Gin, Sambuca, and grapefruit juice to shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into coup glass.


**Vanilla kosher salt and sugar mixture

1 Vanilla bean

½ cup kosher salt

½ cup demerara sugar


Cut vanilla bean length wise and then into ½ inch pieces. Combine with salt and sugar in mason jar. Shake. Let sit 1-2 days.