Nieves Barragán Mohacho’s Spanish Fish Casserole Dishes For Winter Recipes |  Food

Nieves Barragán Mohacho’s Spanish Fish Casserole Dishes For Winter Recipes | Food

IIt is very common to make a bean, chickpea or lentil stew at least once a week in Spain – we Spaniards love our pulses and there is nothing so comforting in the colder months. Today’s fish recipes are quite traditional, especially the souquet, which is a real feast and the type of dish that is perfect for a special occasion. They are much lighter and faster than meat stews, but they are still incredibly warming and good to scoop up with a spoon.

The bean and mussel stew (pictured above)

Prepare 20 min
Cook 1 hour 20 min
Serving 4-6

1 kg mussels
1
tablespoons fine sea salt, to clean the mussels (see method)
75 ml extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into cubes
2 onions, peeled and cut into cubes
1 leek, white part only, notched
1 green pepper, stem, marrow and seeds removed, flesh cut into cubes
1 red pepper, stem, marrow and seeds removed, flesh cut into cubes
1 bay leaf
2 dried chilies
, finely chopped
200 ml white wine
1½-2 liter shrimp stock
(or shellfish or fish stock)
500 g dried beans
, soaked overnight in cold water
Sea salt and
black pepper
½
flock chervil, chopped, or dill or tarragon

Check with your fishmonger if the mussels have been cleaned – if not, do it yourself by putting them in a bowl of cold water with a tablespoon of fine salt and soaking for 40 minutes. Gently move the mussels around in the water every 10 minutes: the salt water causes them to expel all the sand.

Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, add garlic and onion and sauté while stirring for 10-12 minutes. Add the leeks, fry, stirring, for five to six minutes, then add the peppers, bay leaf and dried chilies, and fry for eight to 10 minutes until really soft and sweet but not colored. Pour in the wine, cook until the liquid has evaporated, then add the broth and the drained beans. Cover the pan halfway with a lid and let it cook very gently for approx. 45 minutes until the beans have soaked up plenty of the foundation and are nicely soft; if the beans are still a little hard at this point, add extra water and continue to cook until soft.

When the beans are done, season the mixture, then drain the mussels and add them to the pan. Cover the pan halfway again and cook the mussels over medium heat for three or four minutes until they open (discard those that do not). Stir in the chervil, taste and adjust the spices and serve with plenty of bread to dry the sauce.

Suquet (fish and potato stew)

Nieves Barragan Mohachos Fish and Potato Casserole (AKA Suquet).
Nieves Barragan Mohachos Fish and Potato Casserole (AKA Suquet).

Prepare 20 min
Cook 1 hour
Serving 4-6

For the stew
25 ml good extra virgin olive oil (I use arbequina), plus extras for the picada and to toast the bread
1 large onion, peeled and finely cut
100g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or 100 g drained and chopped canned tomatoes)
1 generous pinch saffron
2 teaspoons sweet pepper
125 ml dry white wine
100 ml Spanish brandy
100 ml manzanilla or fino sherry
80 ml pastis
150 g
waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
1.7 liter fish stock of good quality
200 g cod fillet
, cut into 2 cm pieces
200 g monkfish filet, cut into 2 cm pieces
200 g gurnefilet, cut into 2 cm pieces
Sea salt and black pepper
3 slices of good white bread, cut in half, for serving

for the plug
1 small bundle flat-leaved parsley, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
, peeled and coarsely chopped, plus 1 clove extra, peeled and halved at the end
50 g hel hazelnuts, blanched and lightly toasted
50 g hel
almonds, blanched and lightly toasted

Make the picada first. In a mortar, crush the parsley, garlic and nuts with a dash of olive oil until you have a coarse paste, then set aside.

Now start on the pot. Pour the oil into a large pan over medium heat, and when hot, add the onion and fry, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 more minutes until the mixture is reduced to a paste. Add saffron, pimentón and picada, cook, stirring, for one minute, then add wine, brandy, sherry and pastis, and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.

Add the potatoes, stir for a minute, then add the broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chopped fish, cover the pan halfway and let it cook for five to seven minutes until the fish is just cooked through. Taste the broth and adjust the spice accordingly.

Meanwhile, fry the bread slices in a drizzle of olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan until golden on both sides. Take it out of the pan, rub one side of the toast with the halved garlic and serve with the hot stew.

Nieves Barragán Mohacho is the chef / co-owner of Sabor, London W1

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