Zarzuela I

Zarzuela I (zar-zoo-ay-lah) is a classic dish with a delicate flavour. A mixture of almost any firm fish and shellfish may be used, although it is usual to include prawns or shrimps and lobster. Serve Zarzuela I with Saffron Rice and a mixed salad and garnish it with triangles of crisply fried bread.

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

5 fl. oz. dry white wine

12 fl. oz. fish stock

1 tablespoon flour, mixed to a paste with

2 tablespoons water

8 oz. squid, cleaned and sliced into rings

8 oz. monk fish, cut into

2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 lb. hake, cut into

2-inch pieces

1 lb. lobster meat

8 oz. prawns or shrimps, shelled

24 mussels, scrubbed, steamed and removed from their shells

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground saffron

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the tomatoes, parsley, wine, fish stock and the flour mixture. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the squid, monk fish, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, taking care not to break up the fish. Add the hake, lobster, prawns or shrimps, mussels, paprika and saffron and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Pour the zarzuela into a warmed serving dish and serve at once.

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