Merluza Rellena de Setas con Almejas (Mushroom-Stuffed Hake with Clams)

Recipe and photos contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Veronica Shine

A gastronomic fiesta of tradition and one of nothing less than good taste runs from September 30th through to October 12th in Galicia, the northwestern region of Spain just north of Portugal known for its love of seafood. Its fishing boats help supply Spain with fresh fish, crab and other seafood. At this festival seafood lovers rejoice. 

The Fiesta de Exaltación del Marisco has been celebrated since 1963, and every year people come to the fishing town, O Grove, to discover the extraordinary flavors that provide meals to the inhabitants here.

Thousands hailing from everywhere celebrate and enjoy the quality food offered at this great party. For those interested in preparing these scrumptious seafood dishes, courses are provided at this event with a chance to join in the numerous contests with the end results of what was learned.

In addition to all the steamed, baked and grilled cuisines filled with lobsters, clams, crabs, and other under-the-sea specialties, live performances prevail introducing the visitor to folk dances that are typical of Galicia. There are also seminars and exhibitions to the point that this traditional festival is raised to the status of one of the leading gastronomic festivals in Europe.

Merluza Rellena de Setas con Almejas hails from the region. Simple to prepare, the taste buds will be in awe of the flavor and aromas. The hake (also known as whiting) can be substituted with any thick fillet of personal choice, such as tuna or swordfish.

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients:

2 hake steaks
10 clams (Little Necks)
1/4 lb. mushrooms
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 to 2 roasted peppers cut into strips
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup fish stock
1 tablespoon white wine
1 pinch of sugar
Olive oil
Salt
Parsley

Directions:

  1. Finely chop onion and garlic and place them in a pan with a little olive oil to soften
  2. Add the roasted peppers, a pinch of salt and sugar and cook for 6-8 minutes.
  3. Place this mixture through strainer and reserve the peppers and liquid separately.
  4. Take a pan and add the flour, wine, fish broth and a little chopped parsley.
  5. Stir, season and add the peppers.
  6. Place in the clams and cook until they open.
  7. Clean the hake steaks, leaving the skin on one side.
  8. Make an opening with a knife in skinless part to use as a filling pocket.
  9. Cut mushrooms into sections and sauté briefly in a pan with some oil and a pinch of salt.
  10. Fill in the fish with mushrooms, some water mixed with olive oil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 350ºF.
  11. Serve on a dish placing the stuffed fish steak in the center, the clams on top and dot with sauce reserved from the peppers.

 

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