Catalonia: Sardine Baburada
by chef Alfons Bach of the restaurant Mam i Teca
The Slow Food Garraf convivium and Terra Madre cooks from Catalonia in northern Spain held two Slow Cook Jam Sessions in 2009, with a focus on utilizing pescado sin precio (undervalued fish).
Taking the vast range of fish on offer at Barcelona's Boqueria market as a starting point, the chefs presented their own recipes for little-known, sustainable fish - alternatives to species like tuna, swordfish and cod which are disappearing due to overfishing.
The sardines can be replaced with any other type of undervalued fish.
1. The Fish
- common name: European sardine
- scientific name: Sardina pilchardus
- characteristics: This small silvery pelagic fish, popular around the Mediterranean, is disregarded by consumers in some other countries because of its strong flavor and smell.
A gregarious fish, sardines form huge shoals near the coast at depths of around 50 meters. There are many different populations of sardines, and despite biological differences, exchanges between these populations are frequent. Sardines have different growth rates depending on the type and the zone, and they reach sexual maturity when they measure between 10 and 20 centimeters long. Fishing of sardine stocks is generally sustainable, except off the north and central Moroccan coast, where stocks are fully exploited.
2. The Recipe
Ingredients for 6 people:
6 garlic cloves fried until golden in olive oil
4 slices of bread fried until golden in olive oil
24 toasted almonds
24 toasted hazelnuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground paprika
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vinegar
Grind all the ingredients in a food processor. Bring a liter of fish broth to a boil and add the mixture. Let boil for 5 minutes, then strain and return to the boil.
Flour the fish and fry them in a frying pan, then add them to the strained broth. Let boil for three minutes, then serve.
Madrid: Caldeirada of Mussels
The convivium presents a recipe for a fish stew of mussels
When it heard about the Slow Fish Challenge, the Madrid convivium decided to participate in the international initiative by organizing a community activity involving fresh fish.
Madrid has the second largest fish market in the world after Tokyo, even though the nearest sea is 350 kilometers away (a crucial issue from a sustainability perspective). The convivium obtained fish from friends in the Community of Lira Fishermen, artisan fishers well-known at Slow Food events and active in promoting a reserve for artisan fishing along Galicia's "Coast of Death".
It was just necessary to find out what had been caught on Thursday morning, order it, receive it on Friday and eat it on Saturday.
Ingredients for 4 people:
1 kg mussels
1 kg potatoes
basil and fennel seeds
a monkfish head or bone for the stock
4 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
For the stock:
Slice the onion, leek and tomato. Lightly fry the onion and leek with olive oil in a pan; when they start to brown, add a fish head or bone (monkfish in this case); add the tomato and two liters of water and boil for 15 minutes; when the stock has cooled, remove the bones, mix and filter.
Peel the potatoes and dice; peel the garlic cloves and cut them up.
Fry the garlic with olive oil in a pan, add the potatoes and cover with the stock. Boil for about 45 minutes. Five minutes before the end, add the mussels so they open and cook in the stock. Add salt and pepper. Serve.
Price per person: about € 2 ... a good meal in times of economic crisis!