Angled monkfish, in Sa Pedrera d'es Pujol (Sant Luís, Menorca). Matoses
Starring a fish disguised as luxurious crustacean, the 'alangostadas' recipes are preserved in classic houses while being reissued in modern formats
Those slices of reddish exterior and white interior, firm meats and yellowish flavor are or, rather, look like an imposing lobster or lobster served in medallions. But no; It is a juicy monkfish dressed or disguised as a lobster, which can be tried in places like Casa Lobato, one of the oldest dining rooms in Oviedo . In this restaurant they refuse to close the door to this icon of the apparently demolished cookbook, which they serve on request and is always carved in the room in front of the diner.
Alangostada or, sometimes, lobster , these recipes are known by the names of false lobster or lobster from poor or poor , apart from ever assuming the generic adjective of amariscada . In any case, all tend to have a similar elaboration. It is, basically, to paint with paprika (almost smearing on the outside, also with olive oil and some salt) a piece of fish, which is almost always monkfish, and then cook it . Of course, the usual thing is to mold it as if it were a lobster by tying it with a string, like a roast, which helps to give it the shape of wide loins, which can then be cut in the form of medallions. Sometimes, this package is made by wrapping it in film or aluminum foil. After cooking with the paprika cover, the piece is reddish on the outside and white on the inside, which together with the fact of carving it like lobster medallions gives it more crustacean appearance .
The sea king
It is no accident that monkfish ( pixin ), that fish full of substance, is the main protagonist. With a yellowish texture, with that point of firmness and elasticity that differentiates it from almost any other fish, it should not be forgotten that Jorge Víctor Sueiro referred to him as "the poor lobster of Asturians."
Typical in «weddings, baptisms and communions» (especially, back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, when it was a real hit in regions like Asturias) and, at the same time, in Christmas celebrations, what is the origin of this elaboration? Many place it around the first half of the twentieth century and apparently it was born as a homemade recipe based on the philosophy of family savings , with references such as María Marta Casado de Ballester, who turned the simulation of the lobster trunk into a Affordable dish with luxurious appearance. These were times, in any case, when, probably, monkfish was not especially expensive . From Casa Lobato add details. «We calculate that we began to serve the narrowed pixel between the 50s and 60s, when my grandfather brought them on Cudillero's motorcycle and my grandmother prepared them. When my mother started helping my grandmother in the 60s, they had been doing it for a while, ”estimates Juan Luis Lobato, current owner of the Asturian restaurant .
In any case, this marine monkfish roast with disguise, which today would serve as a cutting-edge recipe for any chef willing to convince the audience of a culinary congress, requires some trick . Thus, it is better with female monkfish, since its wider and shorter body would give better results in cooking (and, in times of reuse of food surpluses, the head would go directly to a fish soup or some seabed).
Sergio and Javier Torres, owners of Hermanos Torres Kitchen (Barcelona), have signed proposals such as the alangostado monkfish salad . Both chefs remember that «there are few recipes more classic than this one, which makes monkfish pass by lobster. A classic always is because it still works. It is a dish that has always haunted us; we did it already in the Reno [emblematic Barcelona restaurant already closed]; In Catalonia, it was common to find it in the area of Tarragona. You have to leave the monkfish coated with La Vera paprika resting for an hour in the fridge », the twins advise, who in its final presentation cover it with American sauce and a slice of piparra on each medallion .
Juicy inside, without losing that lobster-like texture, it is almost always served with a sauce as a garnish, perhaps tartar, mayonnaise, rose (as prescribed by Karlos Arguiñano), Dutch or vinaigrette , apart from innovations such as the accompanying spider crab mayonnaise the white- colored pixie of Blanco (Cangas de Narcea, Asturias). And, precisely, in Asturian lands it is where the monkfish (which they call pixín allangostau ) has maintained great prominence, with tracks such as Casa Conrado (Oviedo); Tataguyo House (Aviles); Zoilo House (Muros de Nalón), which dispatch upon request.
Over time, the elaboration has been enriched with certain modern touches . Thus, Xavier Sagristà (Castell Peralada) and Jordi Vallespí (La Pahissa del Mas) opted for an alangored monkfish cheek presented as a snack in a 4-handed dinner, officiated in 2008 at the Casino Peralada restaurant , in the homonymous town of Girona. In Sa Pedrera d'es Pujol (Sant Lluís, Menorca), Dani González Mora (owner along with Nuria Pendas) brings out his Asturian origin with a narrowed monkfish, accompanied, yes, with mayonnaise (iconic sauce of this island) and Menorca avocado
Since the recipe can be served hot or cold, the slices of the cooked cooked lobster are, in turn, a good ingredient in fresh elaborations , such as the tempered monkfish salad with tomato vinaigrette, sometimes contemplated in the Madrid menu Matritum A similar formula includes the proposal of the restaurant of the Hotel Villa de Laguardia (in the town of Alava); while in El Pigüeña, cider house in Oviedo, you choose the salad of buds and alangostado pixín ; and at Finca El Duque - event space in Gijón - it is prepared with avocado and salmon tartare or with grilled shrimp . In addition, it can be part of salads, such as El Hostal (Oruña, Cantabria), and splashes that exalt the value of this fish, such as bugre (lobster) and alangous pixin dispatched by José Luis Camacho, owner of Zascandil ( Gijón) .
In La Bombhouse , one of the headquarters of Grupo Deluz y Cía. in Santander (next to the Gamazo dike), it is possible to try - especially in summer - the monkfish splashing with mussels . In the menus for weddings and events of the catering of Deluz, years ago they included the angled monkfish, which now "do without problem if a client specifically asks us," they point out.
In modern key
Although the alangostación seems a practice demodé, some new hotel concepts assume it as their own for, yes, dressing it of modernity or exoticism. In Mestura, chef Javier Loya's restaurant in Oviedo, it is accompanied by a vegetable vinaigrette . In Mit Espai de Cuina , Barcelona's local kitchen space where Rafa Antonín and Marga Freudenthal hold custom meals and teach cooking classes, they offer a juicy review of the alangous monkfish .
In Topa Sukalderia (San Sebastián), the IXO Grupo kitchen format that takes advantage of the culinary crossing between Basque and Latin American cultures via migratory movements, Andoni Luis Aduriz and his team included a couple of years ago in their letter the Monkfish Carapulcra alangostado . This is "a typical stew and one of the oldest in Peruvian cuisine" that his colleague Virgilio Martínez (owner of Central, in Lima) proposed to this San Sebastian bar as "tribute to the Basque-Peruvian mix".
The innovation of this recipe has reached haute cuisine. At Casa Marcial (Arriondas), Nacho Manzano serves a contemporary version of alangostado , plankton and lobster mayonnaise . "It is the biggest trapntojo of the most universal traditional cuisine and a dish very famous and loved by Asturians," says the chef.
BEYOND THE RAPE
Amariscamiento can be applied to other marine specimens. Among them, the most common is hake, although it is not usually painted with paprika , but it is served in the oven or cooked, in a seafood sauce made with crustaceans, poached onion and, sometimes, tomato sauce. Thus, it gives rise to recipes such as lobster hake signed by Iñaki Cacho in Sidrería Asador Mendiola , home three kilometers from Vitoria (next to the Olárizu Natural Park). Similar are the proposals that we find in Amostegui (Pamplona) and in the OX's in Madrid , a traditional Basque-Navarre cuisine destination. In Monaco Restaurant , opened in 1962 in Medina del Campo (Valladolid), you choose hake loins with alangostada sauce .
And Gadus morhua is also suitable for this elaboration, such as the alangostado cod salad of the restaurant of the Hotel VP Jardín de Recoletos , in Madrid.
The recipe of the Peisanderas
With more than 40 members, The Guisanderas Club of Asturias is an association of cooks who seek to «safeguard traditional cuisine» . Created in 1997 with 13 stews, it is thus intended to disseminate and share its know-how , based on a classic recipe book and, in reality, its wisdom about cooking products and tricks. Even periodically a selection of their dishes is usually dispatched in the restaurants of El Corte Inglés, in collaboration with The Guisanderas Club of Asturias . Among its stars, is the narrowed pixin , whose orthodox recipe we publish below.
Ingredients: a tail of pixín of about two kilos of weight, sweet paprika, a bay leaf and salt.
Preparation: Cut the monkfish tail, peeled and cleaned previously, in two loins (following the line of the spine). Paint with the paprika and salt and wrap in foil , then tie with a string to form slices. Steam over a casserole with water, a bay leaf and a handful of salt for 20 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the saucepan and let cool ; Remove the foil and chop the fish as if they were lobster medallions. It can be presented with lettuce leaves and some radishes.
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