2 September 2009

Spanish Mackerel Tapas

Spanish seafood tapas are very popular in Spain - especially in Andalucia on the Mediterranean coast and also in the Northern regions of Spain most famously Galicia. Most good tapas bars and Spanish restaurants will serve up delicious tapas, order a beer and you may well enjoy a small plate of clams in salsa or marinated fresh anchovies. What if you need to make up your own seafood though? Here are a couple of ideas - one for spur of the moment and another that needs a little more prep.

Nothing wrong at all with tinned seafood, buy good quality brand name seafood and you have instant tapas. Below we have "Sepia" (Cuttlefish) in garlic sauce, octopus is delicious and has that whole "Mediterranean" flavour thing going on! Upmarket you can't go wrong with the "Ortiz" brand - pricy tuna but its the very best money can buy. Melva fillets are a great option as are mussels or calamari in garlic or escabeche.

However if you need something fresh perhaps for an organised tapas party, something you can prepare in advance then these fresh mackerel tapas will fit the bill.

Ingredients: (12 - 14 tapas)

4 mackerel fillets
1 Small chilli
1 Small onion
2 Garlic cloves
2 Large lemons (juiced)

How to make:

1. Cut up the mackerel fillets into half inch wide strips.

2. Dice the chilli and garlic and slice the onion wafer thin.

3. Squeeze the lemon juice into a large bowl or terracotta cazuela and add the rest of the ingredients except the mackerel and mix.

4. Add the mackerel and turn the mixture so the fish gets fully coated and all the flavours infuse together.

5. Cover the dish/cazuela and marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours, let the lemon juice do the work as it will "cook" the fish on its own.

A real flavour of the "Med" the fish retains its fresh flavour and with the lemon juice makes a delicious tapa to enjoy over a beer or chilled glass of white Rioja. Simple honest flavours, serve on cocktail sticks or present on a salad and drizzle with a good extra virgin olive oil.

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