Spain owns the largest fishing fleet after Japan and Norway. Since the ancient time the Spanish's have lived on whatever they could get from the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean. And so they have an extraordinary skills in the cooking of fish and seafood.
The Basques eat the most popular fish in Spain hake and also cod al pil pil, in olive oil with garlic and , of coarse, their stew marmitako. In marmitako Spaniards use tuna fish, peppers and tomatoes- traditional fish accompany for Mediterranean cooking.
In Asturias like to cook their fish soups only with white flesh fish and add mussels and crustaceans cooked in sea water.
In Catalonia the famous zarzuela requires not only angler fish and squid but a great variety of fishes and shrimps.
Only in Andalusia peaple know to deep fry fiah in olive oil and reach such unforgettable flavor.
But the most popular way of cooking fish is to broil it and in this field the Spanish are masters!
The famous Catalonia "Operetta of the Ocean" zarzuela:
- 5 slices angler fish
- 1 1/2 kg mussels
- 8 spiny lobsters
- 3 medium sized squid or 4 small
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 slices bread
- 10 ml brandy
- 4 garlic cloves
- 500 g tomatoes (remove skin and seeds and chop well)
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 200 ml white wine
- 70n g almonds
- 2 Tbs chopped parsley
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a different large saucepan fry onion with 20 ml olive oil until transparent and add fish, lobsters, mussels, 2 crushed garlic, saffron and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add brandy. Cook at low flame 15 minutes, add white wine. Leave to reduce wine and add almonds. The remaining 2 garlic cloves rub into the bread slices and toast in olive oil till golden. Place the bread on soup plates and pour the Zarzuela over it. Serve with parsley.