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Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
From: "Spain on a Plate" by Maria Josi Sevilla BBC Books Zarzuela is a Catalan fish dish which can be delicious or a disaster depending on where you eat it or who cooks it. Serves six
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, peeled and grated
- 2 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, and finely chopped
- 2 slices bread, crusts removed (thin slices)
- 4 almonds, toasted and skinned
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 14 ounces lobsters, cooked
- 7 ounces squid
- 4 cutlets monkfish
- 4 cutlets halibut
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 4 prawns, uncooked
- 4 live dublin bay prawns
- 16 mussels, scrubbed and bearded
- 8 large clams, scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 8 ounces Spanish brandy
- If the lobster is fresh, it must be cooked first Also cook the Dublin prawns first Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and fry the onions over a low heat, adding a few drops of water.
- When the onions are lightly golden, add the tomatoes until the oil separates and appears at the top , then put to one side. This is the "sofrito" Heat a little more oil and fry the bread.
- Place in a mortar with the almonds and 1 1/2 cloves of garlic and pound together to a fine paste or "picada" Put to one side To prepare the lobster, split it in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the intestinal vein which runs down the tail.
- To prepare the squid, pull the head, and tentacles away from the body.
- Pull off and discard the skin.
- Split the body in half to remove and discard the transparent bond section.
- Cut off the tentacles above the eye. Discard head and material inside the squid Wash remaining squid and slice. Season the monkfish,halibut, and lobster with salt and dust with a little flour.
- Heat a little oil and brown each fish separately, then the same with the prawns, squid and Dublin Bay prawns.
- As each is finished cooking drain, and arrange in a large flameproof earthenware dish.
- Add the mussels and clams.
- Add the remaining garlic and parsley and stand the dish over low heat. Pour over the brandy and flambe.( Light on fire) Pour in the "sofrito", just cover with hot water, bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes until the clams and mussels have opened.
- Discard any that remain closed.
- Mix in the "picada" and season to taste with salt. Cook for a further 5 minutes and serve immediately.
- IF YOU HAVE ANY ENERGY LEFT, enjoy!