Category Archives: Seafood

Fish and seafood recipes

Lasagna Española

Lasagna Española
Spanish version of tuna lasagna is very tasty!

We wanted to make a tuna lasagna, but with a Spanish twist. This brought us an idea for combining lasagna and Andalucian tapas dish called caballa con pimientos asados – mackerel with roasted peppers. It can be found most of the tapas bars. There’s nothing special to it: in a tapas plate there are a few pieces of mackerel and a few pieces of roasted paprika. Most often straight from a can with lots of olive oil and a piece of white bread. And it’s good!

These are the main ingredients for the sauce, but of course we added some chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and handful of olives and a handful of capers to raise the bar a bit. It it turned out to be fantastic dish!

As you may have noticed we prefer having fresh pasta, but you can use regular lasagne sheets as well. In that case add some extra tomato juice from a can in order to make to sauce very moist. The lasagne sheets absorb the liquid when cooked.

Ingredients for Lasagne Española for 4 Servings

  • 1 onion – cebolla
  • 4 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • a splash of olive oil – aceite oliva
  • 1 can (400 g, 14 oz) of canned tomatoes – tomates enteros pelados
  • 1 small can (170 g, 6 oz) of tomato paste – tomate doble concentrado
  • 1 can (400 g, 14 oz) of roasted peppers – pimientos asados
  • a handful of capers – alcaparras
  • a handful of olives – aceitunas
  • 1 can (400 g, 14 oz) of mackerel (or tuna) – caballa
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • 8 lasagne sheets – hoja de lasaña
  • grated parmesan cheese – queso parmesano

Mince onion and garlic. Sautée in a large sauce pan in olive oil and when soft, add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, roasted peppers, capers and olives. Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes and then add mackerels. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let the sauce rest while preparing the lasagna sheets.

If you are using other than fresh lasagna sheets, add some tomato juice or just plain water to keep the mixture moist. However, if you are using fresh pasta, cook the sheets for 2 minutes in salted water.

Preheat the oven to 170 ºC (350 ºF). Swipe an oven dish with olive oil to prevent lasagna from sticking into the dish. Spread the first layer of sauce on the bottom, place pasta sheets on top and repeat until all the sauce is used. Cover the lasagna with clean layer of lasagna sheets and grate some parmesan cheese on top.

Cook in the oven for 45 minutes and let it rest for 30 minutes before serving.

¡Buen provecho!

Spanish Salt Baked Fish

Whole fish baked in salt crust
Whole fish baked in salt crust

A local Andalucian TV station showed Jamie Oliver’s trip to Andalucia and in the end of the show (39:30) he teaches how to make perfect salt baked whole fish. The fish he used is golden perch and it’s very typical Andalucian cooking style for this particular fish, but you can also use sea bass, if you will. We have done this dish several times and there are some little differences in our style to Jamie’s cooking. But the basic idea is the same, of course, since it’s a local cooking method.

When done with cooking Jamie says: “This is the best fish I’ve ever tasted”. We can confirm this. This is the perfect method of cooking a white fish. It stays moist and the fish meat sucks a bit of that sea salt into it making it perfect in taste. You can add a small amount of herb aroma by stuffing the fishes with the herbs of your choice. We prefer stuffing them with parsley and salvia. Salvia is quite strong in taste, but suits perfectly with white fish. You can even fry some crispy salvia leaves as chips in butter and crack them on top of the fish. It works!

Ingredients for Spanish Aioli for 4 Servings

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 1 egg yolk – yema
  • juice of half of lemon – zemo de medio de limón
  • 1 pinch of sea salt – sal marina
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of olive oil – aceite oliva

Crush the garlics in a mortel, add a pinch of salt and squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the egg yolk and begin mixing while adding a the oil slowly as a strand. The structure in the end should resemble mayonnaise. Check the taste and add salt, if needed. Place in the fridge to wait for the potatoes and fishes to be ready.

Ingredients for Oven Baked Potatoes for 4 Servings

  • 6 medium size potatoes – patatas
  • leek and/or onion and/or bell paprika – puerro y/o cebolla y/o pimiento
  • 1 whole garlic – ajo
  • a can of green olives – aceitunas
  • a splash of olive oil – aceite oliva
  • a pinch of sea salt – sal marina
  • a pinch of freshly ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Preheat the oven to 175 ºC (350 ºF).

Slice the potatoes into 5 cm (1/4″) slices lengthwise. Leave the skin on! Place then on an oven tray.

If you have some onions, leek or paprika, you can add them too, but it’s not necessary.

Cut the garlic in half. Yes, the whole garlic, as in the pictures below. Splash some olive oil on top of all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Toss them around so that everything is coated with olive oil.

Cook in 175 ºC (350 ºF) for 25 minutes. After placing the fish into the oven add olives and raise the temperature to 200 ºC (400 ºF) for another 25 minutes.

Ingredients for Salt Baked Fish for 4 Servings

  • 2 whole gutted perches or sea basses (total of ~1,2 kg, 2.5 lbs.) – doradas o lubinas
  • 2 kg (4.5 lbs) of coarse salt – sal grueasa
  • a few sprigs of parsley – ramitas de perjil
  • a few sprigs of salvia – ramitas de salvia

Mix about 2 dl (1 cup) of water with the salt in a bowl. Mix well so that the structure resembles wet snow. Make a layer of salt using half of the salt on an oven tray.

Stuff the fishes with parsley and salvia and place them on top of the sea bed. Cover the fishes with rest of the salt. Put the tray in the oven and cook for 25 minutes in 200 ºC (400 ºF).

When done, use a scoop or large spoon to crack the salt surface and remove the skin from one side of the fishes. Scoop the meat (without bones) to the plates and remove spine when done so you can access the other side of the fish.

¡Buen provecho!

Fried Octopus and Mediterranean Potato Salad

Fried Octopus with Mediterranean Potato Salad
Fried Octopus with Mediterranean Potato Salad

As continuation for our previous post about making octopus, this time we have fried version served with wonderful fresh Mediterranean potato salad. First you need to do is to freeze and then boil the octopus tender just like in the previous post. Grilling the tentacles brings crispiness and adds nice smoky flavor.

Ingredients for Mediterranean Potato Salad for 4 Servings

  • 0,5 kg (1 lbs.) small cooked potatoes  – patatas
  • 1 red onion – cebolla rojo
  • 4 radishes – rábanos
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of olives – aceitunas
  • 1 dl (1/2 cup) of capers – alcaparras
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of sun-dried tomatoes – tomates secos
  • 3 green onions – cebollitas
  • 1 dl (1/2 cup) of extra virgin olive oil – aceite de oliva virgen extra
  • a punch of parsley – perejil
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Chop vegetables into small rings as in the pictures. If the potatoes are too big for a bite, half them, too. Add rest of the ingredients along with chopped parsley and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Let the salad rest in the fridge while you cook the octopus.

Ingredients for Octopus and Garlic Oil

  • 1/2 medium size octopus – medio de pulpo
  • 1 lemon – limón
  • a pinch of sea salt – sal marina
  • a punch of parsley – perejil
  • 5 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 1 dl (1/2 cup) of extra virgin olive oil – aceite de oliva virgen extra
  • a splash of sunflower oil – aceite de girasol

Cook the octopus according the these instructions.

Chop parsley and garlic very fine and mix well with the olive oil. Season with salt to taste. Put the oil on the side to rest while you grill the octopus.

Put a frying pan or a hot plate very hot and splash a bit of sunflower oil on it. Fry the octopus until the surface begins to brown and the suction cups become crispy. Season with the garlic oil and serve with the Mediterranean potato salad.

¡Buen provecho!