Hake in Rich Sauce (Merluza a lo Jaizkibel)
Recipe type: Seafood
Serves: 2
  • 4 pieces serving-size of fillet of hake (or other white fish)
  • 8 clams; cleaned
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic; peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon flour; heaping Tablespoon
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley; rounded Tablespoon
  • 1/4 Cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons green peas - canned or precooked; heaping Tablespoons
  • 4 canned white asparagus tips
  • 1 Tablespoon juice from canned asparagus
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 Cup water
  1. Heat olive oil in a flat earthenware casserole. Crush and mince garlic cloves. Fry slowly in the barely heated oil. When they take on color, add the flour, parsley, and hake, in that order. Jiggle the casserole to mix.
  2. In another receptacle, open eight clams in 1/2 cup water over a hot fire.
  3. As soon as the clams have opened, turn the hake over, sprinkle it with white wine, remove a shell from each clam, and add the clams to the casserole with about a tablespoon of the water in which the clams cooked.
  4. Jiggle and shake the casserole to blend. Add the peas and asparagus tips.
  5. Season with salt and shake the casserole to blend.
  6. When the sauce has taken on the consistency of a cream sauce, put the yolk of an egg in a cup, add to it 1 tablespoon of the juice from the can of asparagus, and mix it with a fork. Remove casserole from fire. Empty contents of cup over casserole and immediately lift casserole and swirl and shake it from side to side to blend the egg yolk with the sauce quickly.
  7. The dish is now ready to serve.
Recipe Source: THE SPANISH COOKBOOK by Barbara Norman

Comments: This recipe is the creation of Senor Candido Tojal Varela, chef of the restaurant of the Hotel San Sebastian in the town of the same name.

Because it is both simple and rich, the dish, which won the chef a prize in the First Gastronomic Competition of the Province of Guipuzcoa, should become one of the classics of the Basque cuisine. The proportions in the recipe are for two people; a double recipe for four would be best made simultaneously in two casseroles of equal size.
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