I’m not even going to pretend like I can pronounce the name of this dish (Zarzuela … ) and I’m certainly not going to try and pretend that I made it either!
My parents whipped this up for Sunday lunch … and it had a little story to accompany it. Many years ago (before I arrived on the scene) – my parents had dinner at a little Spanish restaurant in Amsterdam and ate Zarzuela. The memory of this meal has lingered on and (clearly with some time on their hands now that they are retired!) they decided to unearth this recipe (thanks to Google!) and try replicating this dish.
I did a little google research myself – there are plenty of recipes for Zarzuela – and they all vary! It would seem like the Spanish equivalent of a bouillebaisse … but I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the recipe my parents used. I can vouch for the fact that it tasted delicious! The Zarzuela is a cross between a soup and a stew … and I think you could can add or remove liquid as you like really. Either way, serve with some bread to soak up the sauce.
The Recipe: (Again, I’d like to stress that this is what my parents used … and I really think that you can play around with the ingredients and quantities. Don’t eat mussels, use some calamari instead! I think that this type of food is very forgiving to people like me who don’t always follow a recipe to the letter!)
Firm White Fish (Natal Snoek) 300g
Prawns (shelled) (300g)
Mussels (steamed and shelled) (30)
Fish Stock 100mls
White wine 100mls
A generous splash of sherry
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 onion finely sliced
4 cloves of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon of saffron strands
Handful of roughly chopped raw almonds
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Coat the bottom of a large pot (this is one of those one-pot wonders!) with some olive oil and lightly fry the onion, garlic and almonds. Add the tomato and allow to simmer. Next add the stock, white wine and sherry. A little swirl and stir … and then add in your seafood and poach in the liquid on a low heat. Once your fish is cooked and your liquid slightly reduced, add the saffron (which will transform the dish into a golden broth!) and season with salt and pepper. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle over the chopped parsley.
x sim x