Gastronomy |

The sea also has its own seasonal products

The sea also has its own seasonal products

We generally associate the autumn season with more hearty dishes, usually meat stews and spoon dishes. But we cannot forget that every day thousands of people leave our fishing ports to fish in order to unload what the sea offers us at this time of year.

So, today we present a collection of the best seasonal fish adapted to seasonal dishes, and of course, paired with a selection of our best wines for total enjoyment.

With the rise of frozen products or fish farms, we have become used to having many varieties throughout the year, but it should be remembered that seasonality in the sea is linked to elements such as the breeding season or the movements of each of the species closely related to temperature.

This facilitates proximity catches, making our consumption more ecologically responsible. Hence, the consumption of seasonal fish respects the biological cycle of these animals, but above all it allows us to enjoy the flavors of these foods, in a more tasty and intense way.

Recipes and pairings with fish

Everyone knows that the autumn months are the best for seafood, but today we will focus on fish, which is cheaper and very interesting when preparing autumn meals.

For blue fish lovers, during the autumn good catches of thunnus continue, so you can find albacore and mackerel at a good price, but it is also the time for swordfish.

Between blue and white fish, the striped red mullet. Recovered by the great chefs, this semi-fat fish is a delight.

If you are not scared of bones, the season begins for the European conger, as well as fresh cod and  Atlantic pomfret. Which precedes the common sole already in late autumn and early winter.

In another order and with many possibilities in the kitchen, squid and cuttlefish enjoy their best season, and that translates into more nutritious and, very important, better price.

But when it comes to cooking, what fish dishes transport us to this time of year? If with the arrival of cold weather we are in the mood for more substantial dishes, we find in Spanish gastronomy very tasty fish stews that allow us to take advantage of these seasonal fish. Dishes that in some cases can be prepared in advance because “they are better the next day”.

The sea also has its own seasonal products

4 recipes with fish and wine

Just searching a little I have found four dishes that cover the entire national geography, very suitable for the season.

Marmitako

We start with the Euskaldun marmitako, the famous tuna stew that will warm our bodies since the first cold weather. Potatoes, peppers and tuna in a hearty stew and as that well-known Spanish chef says: “very good”.

Caldeirada de pescado

Without leaving the north we move towards the west. Recipes with fish in Galicia are, indisputably, a fundamental part of its gastronomy. Within the multitude of ways in which they can be prepared, the fish stew occupies a special role. A traditional fish stew, prepared as it has always been done in Galicia, allows us to combine various seasonal fish.

Suquet de peix

If we leave the Bay of Biscay and move to the Mediterranean, nothing like “suquet de peix”, a common seafood dish on the Mediterranean coasts of Catalonia and Valencia. It is a stew that was created by the fishermen of this area precisely to take advantage of the fish that after fishing was less likely to be sold. It allows you to combine both fish and shellfish, but essentially rock fish, which is what makes it truly tasty.

Fish stews “in yellow”

Following the Mediterranean coast, the seafood stews of southern Spain present a variety and gastronomic richness not always recognized among the seafood cuisine of Mediterranean Europe. Possibly they are historically one of the oldest, since the addition of tomato, pepper, and particularly potato, are not a tonic in them, and these products are incorporated into Spanish gastronomy after the discovery of America.

To highlight, the fish preparations or stews “in yellow”, a color that it acquires thanks to saffron and paprika. Seafood stews made with thick short noodles are also common, but if you fancy something original, nothing like Málaga’s gazpachuelo, a typical fisherman’s fish soup consisting of a fish broth that incorporates garlic mayonnaise into the initial recipe.

Fish also pairs well with red wine

But what wines do we serve with these seasonal seafood stews? Is it that only whites are indicated to pair with these dishes?

Although it would be not advisable to go with very powerful or tannic reds since they will exceed the finesse of the fish in dishes such as marmitako or suquet, we can serve young or rounder reds such as 3055 petit verdor-merlot or even a Jean Leon Vinya Palau.

The potato will absorb the little tannin it may have and the presence of peppers and tomato allows us to play with this type of red.

Perhaps for Galician caldeirada or Andalusian stews, the whites Jean Leon Xarel·lo, 3055 chardonnay or even a Jean Leon Vinya Gigi, or the delicate rosé from the 3055 range, will better for this type of dish.

Remember that by choosing seasonal fish and seafood you take much fresher products that offer the best nutritional value. Another advantage is that they are much cheaper, since there is more availability in fishmongers. Finally, respecting seasonality is essential to contribute to sustainable fishing.

Sergi Castro – Sommelier Jean Leon