Suquet

Suquet is the diminutive form of suc, or 'juice', in Catalan, which meansthat this wonderfully flavored dish is more correctly called juicy fish stew. The fish and shellfish used vary from cook to cook, and so does the amount of liquid - in fact, some people call this a stew, while others call it a soup - but saffron and almonds are typically part of the mix.

  • Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 12 Manila or small littleneck or cherrystone clams
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 8 blanched almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, halved crosswise, grated on the large holes of a hanheld grater, and skin discarded
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 6 cups fish Stock
  • 2 pounds monkfish fillet, cut into small pieces
  • 1 pound hake fillet, cut into small pieces
  • 1 pound squid, cleaned and cut into thin rings
  • 6 large shrimp in the shell with heads intact
  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled
  • 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 cup cava or sparkling white wine

Preparation

Scrub the clams under cold running water, discarding any that fail to close to the touch. In a large bowl, combine the clams, coarse salt, and water to cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours so that the clams release any sand trapped in their shells.

Meanwhile, in a deep cazuela, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic and fry, stirring often, for about 1 minute, or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a mortar. Reserve the oil in the cazuela off the heat.

Add the almonds, parsley, and water to the mortar and pound with a pestle until a paste forms. Set aside.

Return the cazuela to medium heat, add the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the tomato and saffron, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes longer to blend the flavors. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil, then decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

Add the monkfish, hake, and large and medium shrimp to the cazuela and mix well with onion and tomato. Stir in 1 cup of the hot stock and cook for 30 minutes, adding the remaining stock 1 cup at a time at 5-minute intervals. At the end of this time, all the fish wil be cooked and the flavors will be blended.

Season to taste with salt. Drain the clams and add them to the cazuela along with the mussels, discarding any that fail to close to the touch, and cava. Add the garlic mixture and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until the clams and mussels open.

Discard any mussels or clams that failed to open. Serve immediately.

See also...

Catalonia RecipesAs with nearly all cultures, Catalonian cooking has great character. Its innovative cooking often looking back to history for inspiration. Although ultimately Mediterranean, Catalonia has been influenced by various cultures over the centuries: the Greeks, Romans, the Italians in the eighteenth century and the French have all left their mark on this complex cuisine. Catalonia has absorbed the best of each country and created a culinary package which forms part of the popular wisdom of the region.

Spanish Seafood recipes: The long coastline of Spain, combined with the two archipelagos, the Balearics and the Canaries, ensures that fresh fish and shellfish are ubiquitous elements of the Spanish table.

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