This seafood stew adds a little taste of Spain to chilly days.

Image: Michael Novak

SOUPS AND stews might have their biggest moments in winter, but at chef Kevin Gibson’s restaurant Davenport (2215 E Burnside St, davenportpdx.com), they’re year-round mainstays that evolve with the changing seasons. And this recipe, which combines easy-to-find seafood with savory romesco sauce, is one of Gibson’s favorites. 

“I love romesco—it’s so versatile,” he says. You get two recipes in one—not just seafood stew, but a romesco sauce that can pair with lots of dishes. “It goes with meat, seafood, just on a piece of bread with some roasted peppers, anything.”

Serve this stew with a rustic loaf, sliced and lightly toasted with olive oil. Gibson likes to pair it with an endive salad dressed with sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Crispy jamón bits atop the salad are optional but much appreciated, as is plentiful white garnacha from Catalonia to drink. If a bottle of that is hard to find, Gibson says, try this with a white from northwestern Spain.

Romesco de Peix

By Kevin Gibson

Serves 4–6

Ingredients:

Romesco*

1 lb true cod, skinned, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 lb Manila clams, rinsed

1 lb mussels (Gibson likes Saltspring Island), rinsed 

1 lb (16–20 count) wild shrimp, peeled (except for tail section), and deveined (reserve shells for stock)

½ lb calamari tube and tentacle, cleaned and cut into rings

Parsley, chopped (optional)

MAKE a quick stock by adding a bay leaf and enough cold water to cover shrimp shells. Bring to a simmer, then immediately allow to cool, and strain. 

HEAT enough olive oil to cover bottom of a shallow pan or rondeau. Add romesco and gently heat. Add some stock to loosen so there’s enough liquid to poach seafood.

ADD cod, shrimp, clams, and mussels and simmer 3–4 minutes, or until shells have opened. Add calamari and cook 1 minute. Make sure all seafood is enrobed in sauce.

REMOVE from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 minute. Adjust with salt, stock, or more grated tomato as needed. Add parsley if desired. Ladle into bowls.

*Romesco

1 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted 

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, then rubbed in a towel to remove skins

12 dried ñora chiles, seeded and steeped in warm sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar (available at Providore, or substitute any unsmoked sweet chile, such as cascabels)

4 red peppers, roasted in the oven at 325 degrees until skins barely blister, then peeled and seeded

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 fat tomato, sliced through equator, seeds removed

½–¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

GENTLY sauté drained chiles (reserving the vinegar) in olive oil. When chiles are soft, add garlic and peppers, and cook until garlic is soft. In a food processor, whirl nuts to a fine crumb texture, scraping down the sides. Set a box grater over a plate and grate tomato against largest holes, flattenting hand against the skin as you go. In a blender, whirl the chile, pepper, and garlic mixture with olive oil. Blend in some of the liquidy tomato. Pour the mixture into the food processor. Adjust with salt, olive oil, and reserved vinegar to achieve a pourable consistency.

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