Eat Nice Northern Conferences This powerful-tasting fish is still fishing with a rod and hook starring some of the best seasonal dishes, from the marmitako to its grilled belly, as much as the sardine, to which we have already paid tribute, the bonito from the North is our other great Summer fish, the one that is in all its seasoning, and the one that we will enjoy in multiple ways in the rest of the summer. It is a blue fish, dense, of powerful flavor, pure sea, not for squeaky diners who prefer a little hake or rooster of flatter taste.
It is necessary to undo some possible confusion between tunas of different colors and qualities. And, from the outset, the word “beautiful”, although we all use it, is not the most appropriate, because it gives error: the true common beautiful, scientific name Sarda Sarda, is gastronomically inferior to the northern bonito or Thunnus alalunga – albacore, albacore or, in the Canary Islands, barrel – which is what we mean.
Yes, since the sushi invaded us, the meat of the splendid bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus, also called cimarrón in the Cantabrian) is no longer going to stop the Japanese ships waiting in the immediate vicinity of the southern traps to go out to all hurry to the Tokyo market, but we value it and consume much more in Spain than before, despite its price. But our summer tuna is still white tuna. (And beware of another confusion with a lower quality tuna, Thunnus albacares, called light tuna, yellowfin tuna, or, in English, yellowtail prickly pear).
So we face that magnificent and hydrodynamic fish that, in the Catábrico, is still fishing with rod and hook and that, properly treated – always with brief cooking, because if it does not dry easily and we run the risk of encountering a scourer in the dish- provides us with some of our great seasonal dishes.
The basic version, that of the origins, is that fishermen’s stew that, with some variants, we call in the Cantabrian Marmitako, Marmita, Marmite or Sorropotún. The Basque marmitako has chorizo pepper; the sorropotún of San Vicente de la Barquera, no, but some slices of bread. And it is discussed if the tomato is more typical of Cantabria or the Basque Country. But in the end it is a stew of diced bonito with potatoes and onion, that the crew of the fishing boats made on board and that today we will find, so rich and so deep, in all the ports of the area.
There are modernized and refined marmitakos today, such as that of Álbora (Jorge Juan, 33, Madrid, tel. 91 781 61 97), which is marinated with onion juice. Good restaurants, good illustrated bars, find their own formulas to give personality and, in particular, to give lightness and juiciness to their beautiful dishes.https://usanewsnow.info
Look at the big three: in Sacha (Juan Hurtado de Mendoza, 11, Madrid, tel. 91 345 59 52), his already famous and very light pickled sauce; or in Asturianos (Vallehermoso, 94, Madrid, tel. 91 533 59 47), a nice briefly sauteed grilled accompanied by a homemade tomato sauce that is prepared separately, so as not to add heaviness to the dish; or at Hostería Calvo (Av. Oviedo, 182, Puente San Miguel, Cantabria, tel. 942 82 00 42), where the beautiful meatballs reach the category of works of art.
From the classic slices that form the base of the marmitako or the traditional ones with onions or tomatoes, we can move on to the most delicate pieces: thus, with a very tasty piece located between the belly and the tail they make in Lakasa (Discoverer Square Diego de Ordás, 1, Madrid, tel. 91 533 87 15) its tarantelo of grilled northern bonito with tomato. And, of course, the ventresque is the finest and most appreciated piece. The ventresque of Elkano is sensational (Herrerieta Kalea, 2, Guetaria, tel. 943 14 00 24), grilled on the miraculous grill of the Arregui, and also that of the great Paco Ron in Viavélez (General Perón, 10, Madrid , tel. 915 79 95 39), both grilled and salad.
And the very tasty ventresca also lends itself to other memorable preparations: in La Castela strudel (Dr. Castelo, 22, Madrid, tel. 915 74 00 15); in salad in Candeli (Ponzano, 47, Madrid, tel. 91 737 70 86); and already in full creativity, fantasies such as the tuna belly with ‘caviar’ of ham, melon ice cream and melon soup by Francis Paniego in El Portal de Echaurren (Father José García, 19, Ezcaray, La Rioja, tel. 941 35 40 47).
In Esbardos, Asturian restaurant in Madrid, they offer their own canned ventresca with several years old in a can, a practice similar to that of sardines in France, which gives them greater depth and flavor. Try them – they are currently from the coast of 2016 – with pepper asadillo (Maldonado, 4, tel. 91 435 08 68).
Some of our greatest chefs dare even with the heart of the beautiful, and particularly successful and delicate is that of Nacho Manzano (Casa Marcial, La Salgar, s / n, Arriondas, Asturias, tel. 985 84 09 91), made with juniper, mustard and marmitako juice.
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In the two westernmost regions of our north coast, where the marmitako or similar have not settled as in the Basque Country and Cantabria, there are also traditional recipes very identified with their homelands. Without a doubt, in Asturias the one that dominates and that can be addictive is the beautiful roll, like the one at Casa Consuelo (road N-634, Otur, tel. 985 47 07 67). And, of course, in Galicia some of the empanadas of bonito reach the category of haute cuisine, such as La Penela in the María Pita square of La Coruña (tel. 981 20 92 00).