IIt’s very common to make bean, chickpea or lentil stew at least once a week in Spain – we Spaniards love beans, and there’s nothing so comforting in the colder months. Today’s fish recipes are quite traditional, especially the socket, which is a real feast and the perfect type of dish for a special occasion. It’s much lighter and quicker than meat stew, but it’s still incredibly warm and good to eat with a spoon.
Bean and clam stew (pictured above)
to equip 20 minutes
cook 1 hr 20 min
1 kg oysters
1 tablespoon sea saltTo clean the clam (see method)
75 ml extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic clovesPeeled and cut into cubes
2 onionsPeeled and cut into cubes
1 leek, white part only, chopped
1 green pepper, remove stems, pulp and seeds, diced flesh
1 red pepper, remove stems, pulp and seeds, diced flesh
1 bay leaf
2 dried hot peppers, finely chopped
200 ml white wine
1½ – 2 liters shrimp stock (or shellfish or fish stock)
500gm dried beansSoak in cold water overnight
sea salt and black pepper
½ Package chervil, chopped, dill or tarragon
Check with your fishmonger if the oysters have been cleaned – if they haven’t been cleaned, you will need to do this yourself by placing them in a bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of fine salt and soaking for 40 minutes. Gently stir the oysters into the water every 10 minutes: the brine makes them dislodge any sand.
Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and onion and saute for 10-12 minutes. Add shallots, and sauté, stirring for five to six minutes, then add pepper, bay leaf and cayenne pepper, and cook for eight to 10 minutes, until very soft and sweet but not colored. Pour in the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated, then add the broth and the drained beans. Cover half of the saucepan with a lid, and let simmer gently for about 45 minutes, until the beans have absorbed plenty of broth and become nice and soft; If the beans are still a bit firm at this point, add more water and continue cooking until tender.
When the beans are cooked, season the mixture, then drain the oysters and add to the saucepan. Cover the pan halfway again, and cook the oysters over medium heat for three or four minutes, until they open (discard the unsalted oysters). Stir on porch, then taste and adjust seasonings and serve with plenty of bread to clear the sauce.
Sukeh (fish and chips stew)
to equip 20 minutes
cook 1 hour
25 ml Extra virgin olive oil (I’m using arbequina), plus picadas and toasting
1 large onionPeeled and finely chopped
100g ripe tomatoespeeled and chopped (or 100g canned tomatoes, drained and chopped)
1 generous pinch saffron
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
125 ml dry white wine
100 ml Spanish brandy
100 ml manzanilla or fino cherry
80 ml Pastis
150 grams waxy potatoesPeeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
1.7 liters high quality fish stock
200gm cod fillet, cut into 2 cm pieces
200 grams monk Slices, cut into 2 cm pieces
200 gr grenade fillet, cut into 2cm pieces
Sea salt and black pepper
3 slices of good white breadCut in half, to serve
1 small handful of parsleycoarsely chopped,
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped, plus 1 extra clove, peeled and halved to end
50 g full hazelnutPeeled and lightly toasted
50 g full almondsPeeled and lightly toasted
First make the pikada. In a mortar, mash parsley, garlic, and nuts with a little olive oil until you have a coarse paste, then set aside.
Now start on the soup. Pour the oil into a large skillet over medium heat, and once it warms up, add the onion and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes until slightly golden. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes, until the mixture turns into a paste. Add saffron, paprika and picadas and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add wine, brandy, sherry and pastis and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
Add the potatoes and stir for a minute, then add the stock and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add the minced fish, cover half of the saucepan, and simmer for five to seven minutes, until the fish is completely cooked through. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, fry bread slices in a drizzle of olive oil until golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and rub one side of the toast with garlic halves and serve with hot stew.
Nieves Barragán Mohacho is Head Chef/Co-Owner of Sabor, London W1