It has happened again, I have pilgrimage withdrawal symptoms. For the last few nights I have been dreaming about the Camino de Santiago. It is a re-occuring dream, based in experience, of arriving at the Cathedral for the first time, having walked 545 miles and walking up the steps into the cool cavernous nave of Santiago. It is a dream I love exploring.
Anyhow, to help my withdrawal symptoms yesterday, I took control of Friday supper time. I was determined for a traditional take but, let's face it, no one has ever been lit up by fish pie. So, I set my heart on moules marinere, chips cut with the skins still on, home made mayo with chives from the garden, and salad leaves served with toasted pine nuts and capers. I take Friday fasting seriously, you understand. I was going to need a bottle of Sancerre too.
I packed myself off to Waitrose, but was shocked to discover that they lady at the counter thought mussels would not be in season for another 7 days. In Ireland they have been in for weeks! But, who am I to criticize? I have to have a sudden re-think. On the counter there were almejas and beautiful prawns. One problem, what on earth is the English word for almejas? I didn't know and I couldn't see a label anywhere! English is my first language! FFS! I have only ever eaten these little shells in Spain though. I opted for the "Hallo, please could I have 500g of...them,' *points*, "thank you". Then I bought lots of pink unshelled prawns and some fan tail peeled prawns, a bottle of white rioja and a lemon. This was going to be fun! The label told me about the shells, they are called 'clams'!
When I got home, I went to the kitchen, flicked on the Spanish radio and got cooking. I thick cut 4 big potatoes, skins on. Heated up a heavy pan with sunflower oil, and plunged the cut chips into boiling oil. I finely cut an onion and a red chili pepper and shallowed fried it in some olive oil. As they were getting soft I added a little sea salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Then I threw in the cleaned clams and a good glass of white rioja.
*check on the chips*
Once the clams began to open I threw in the unshelled tiger prawns, waited for a bit, and then the fan tail peeled prawns. I cut some flat leaf parsley and lemon slices and threw them in too. Dinner was two minutes from ready.
I rescued the chips from the oil and got them onto the plates, then I brought the big pan of seafood to the table for people to help themselves.
We tucked into the whole lot, dipping the chips into the mayo (4 egg yolk whisked, olive oil added gradually, chives from the garden and sea salt) and gobbling the salad. Of course, we drank the rest of the Rioja too.
A truly great Camino meal. A new take on Friday fish supper. Great sharing food for the family - no fighting over the last prawn!