Monday, 28 May 2012

Escabeche De Pescado

One of my favourite Spanish recipe's for bringing out the best in that humble fish, the Sardine.
Its equally tasty made with Mackerel. This takes under an hour to make, from scratch, costs next to nothing to make and will make an simple, delicious starter for a summer party, picnic or lunch. And I will show you how.
 You'll need the following for 6 - 10 people:

  • 2 kg sardines as fresh as possible
  • flour
  • olive oil 100ml
  • sunflower oil for frying
  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 2 cloves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 lt good quality white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 lt water
  • 1/4 white wine
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 whole chilli
Personally, I like to prepare my fish at home, but do get them filleted at the monger if you're a sissy.
Remove the scales by rubbing from tail to head under a running tap and remove guts by slicing along the belly from gills to the tail and pulling them out. Rinse the cavity of and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Cut off tail and head, then trim off all the small fins. Turn the fish onto its belly and gently squash down to flatten.

 Turn the fillet over and pull out the backbone from head to tail. All the rib and fine bones should come out easily.

 Once you have prepped all the fish, get a frying pan going with about 1cm of sunflower oil and also a dish with some seasoned flour

 Proceed to lightly flour the fish fillets and fry them skin side down until they are nicely golden, then turn them over for about a minute to finish cooking. Remove and set aside to cool.

Now, in a separate pan, gently heat the olive oil and in it heat the garlic cloves, bay leaves, thyme,oregano, peppercorns and cloves...
gently fry the aromatics but watch that the garlic doesn't burn. Remove and set aside, Then stir in the paprika.

Heat the vinegar, wine, salt and chilli to boiling point, add to the oil mixture and let it cook briefly.

Pour the marinade over the fish, let it cool, then wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but optimally for a couple of days for the flavours to mellow.
Serve at room temperature, with some ripe tomatoes, boiled new potatoes and a big green salad. Or just with a nice slice of sourdough bread. Yum.


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