|Cuttlefish dish created by Chef Enrique Sánchez at Andalucía Sabor.|
I’m looking through the notes and photos I took at ANDALUCÍA SABOR, food forum and trade fair in Sevilla dedicated to the foods of southern Spain. The theme of the conference this year was LA TAPA. TRADICIÓN E INNOVACIÓN EN LA COCINA ANDALUZA (The Tapa. Tradition and Innovation in Andalusian Cuisine). Right up my camino!
|Fernando Huidobro, Dani García and Angel León.|
|Clemente Gómez, master ham slicer.|
Some of the most interesting presentations were riffs on ingredients. For example, Paco Roncero (two stars, La Terraza del Casino, Madrid) used a single varietal olive oil, Picual, in three styles, early harvest (October), mid harvest (November) and late (December) in creating three different dishes, each showcasing the flavors of the oils. Oh, there were some far-out techniques involved too—freezing the oil, turning it into butter, then dipping it in malitol to make a caramel, turning it into popcorn. Or something like that.
Admittedly, the Andalucía Sabor conference was intended for professionals. Nevertheless, the show cooking I liked best were those that actually could be accomplished by a home cook. One of these was presented by Enrique Sánchez, a TV chef (Cómetelo, Canal Sur TV), who deconstructed a very traditional recipe from Cádiz, Chocos al Pan Frito, cuttlefish with fried bread.
|Interpreting a traditional dish.|
But, in the booklet published for congreso attendees, appeared, not the deconstructed recipe, but the traditional one. So, here’s my take on the traditional recipe.
|Traditional: Tender cuttlefish in a sauce thickened with fried bread.|
Chocos al Pan Frito con Guarnición de Arroz
Cuttlefish with Fried Bread Sauce and Rice
(Recipe adapted from one contributed by Enrique Sánchez to publication of Andalucía Sabor, September, 2013.)
|Cuttlefish, cleaned and ready to cook.|
Ñoras are plum-sized dried red peppers with a bitter-sweet flavor. If not available, use an additional 1 tablespoon pimentón (paprika) in this recipe.
3 ñoras (dried sweet red peppers)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 slices bread, crusts removed (about 2 ½ ounces)
½ cup manzanilla (dry Sherry)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley
2 pounds cleaned cuttlefish, cut in 1 ½ -inch pieces, tentacles reserved for garnish
1 teaspoon pimentón (paprika, not smoked)
Water, about 2 cups
½ teaspoon salt
Rice with tentacles as an accompaniment
Remove stems and seeds from the ñoras and put them in a bowl. Cover with hot water and allow to soak for 45 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan or cazuela. Fry the bread until browned on both sides. Remove it to a dish. Pour the manzanilla over.
Add 1 tablespoon more oil to the pan. Sauté the onions and garlic on medium heat until softened, but not browned, 5 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, puree the soaked ñoras, fried bread, onions and garlic from the pan and parsley with ½ cup of the ñora soaking water.
Add 1 tablespoon more oil to the pan and sauté the pieces of cuttlefish. Sprinkle with the pimentón. Add the bread paste to the pan with enough water to cover the cuttlefish, about 2 cups.
Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook until cuttlefish is very tender, about 15 minutes longer.
Serve the cuttlefish accompanied by the rice and sprinkled with chopped parsley.
|Rice with cuttlefish tentacles, a side dish.|
Arroz de Guarnición
Rice as a Garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil
Tentacles from the cuttlefish
2 cloves garlic, sliced crosswise
½ cup medium-short-grain rice
1 cup water or fish stock
½ teaspoon salt
Heat the oil in a small skillet. Sauté the tentacles of cuttlefish. Add the sliced garlic, then the rice. Add water or stock and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook, uncovered, until rice is tender, about 16 minutes. Allow to set 5 minutes before serving as an accompaniment to the cuttlefish.
|Regañás--a shatteringly crisp flatbread, used instead of fried bread in the interpretation of the traditional cuttlefish dish.|