Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cuttlefish and potato stew (papas con choco)

Cuttlefish stewed with potato is one of the staples of gaditano cooking. Cuttlefish isn't eaten at all in the UK (unless you're a budgerigar) but it's actually very good. It tastes quite similar to squid, with the same mild slightly sweet flavour, although the texture is different. It is more tender than squid but because the flesh is much thicker, it has a slightly meatier consistency. This dish belongs to the category of peasant and working-class food which involves stretching a little bit of meat (or in this case seafood) with vegetables, pulses or grains. I guess the nearest equivalent in the British isles would be Irish stew.

olive oil
150g onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
50g green peppers, roughly chopped
500g of cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into chunks
250g of ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
750g potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
200ml white wine
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
2 bay leaves

  1. Put the onions in a large saucepan with plenty of olive oil and fry gently. Once they start to soften, add the garlic and green pepper and fry for another few minutes.
  2. Then add the cuttlefish, tomatoes, salt, pepper, paprika and bay leaves, stir well and fry for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and white wine, bring to the boil, cover, turn heat to minimum and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender. (About 20 to 30 minutes.)
Protein vs. carbs
Perhaps inevitably, as we become richer and our diets have become more protein-heavy the tendency is to up the meat content in such dishes, and I have to admit that my version has slightly less potato than the original recipe I was working from (in Pescados y Mariscos Gaditanos by Carlos Spinola and Manuel Fernández-Trujillo).


Tim in the Kitchen said...
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Madalen Goiria said...

Me recuerda al marmitako, un plato marinero para hacer a bordo del barco con los dos vegetales que se conservan a lo largo del tiempo,en aquellos tiempos en los que no había frigorífico a bordo, cebolla y patata, aunque el marmitako está hecho de bonito. No tengo ni idea que pescado es este que utilizais en Cadiz. pero tiene una pinta estupenda.

Tim in the Kitchen said...

Es choco (o sea, un tipo de sepia gorda - no sé si se come en el norte). A ver si me animo a hacer un marmitako algún día de estos. ¿Aparte del bonito, qué lleva normalmente?

Madalen Goiria said...

El que yo hago, bonito, patata, ajo, cebolla, pimiento rojo, pimiento verde y tomate. Lo de siempre para hacer un guisado (no lleva zanahoria, cuidado). Besos