We recently went over to Barcelona for a long weekend with friends and loved it, as does everyone that visits it seems. It’s really is a great city. I’ll be writing a little more about it later, but like most of you, I do tend to get that temporary post-holiday pining and food seems to most immediate and accessible ‘fix’.
So, dinner in the Food Frankly household started to develop a distinct Catalan accent last week. This dish started out as a typical fridge raiding midweek dinner but I actually realised that, once I’d finished, this one might be worth sharing. My camera was sat in the office throughout so I only got a couple of ‘after’ shots, but still…
The salmon and prawns were fresh but the chickpeas were canned. I prefer cooking dried ones, but by roasting them in spices and seasoning for a few minutes, as I did here, they lose some of the water than makes them a little too soft. Anyway, normally I’m not nearly organised enough to have them soaking the day before so this is a good alternative. I baked them gently in some salt, pepper, smoked paprika (only a little) and ground chilli.
Roasting the peppers (another Spanish influence) apart from being delicious, is a great way to use up old produce that’s started to wrinkle a bit. I do however, apologise for the Chorizo, I know it’s an obvious one, but it’s always in the fridge. Anyway, the garlic/paprika oil it releases is a great way to flavour fish and seafood. So there… 😉
The basil oil finish was influenced by a dish we had in a great little tapas bar in the city. It worked really well with this.
- 2 Salmon fillets
- 8 prawns
- 400g/14oz Chickpeas (canned), or half the amount if dried.
- A red, yellow and green pepper.
- Chorizo, about the length of your thumb, sliced into 6
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of chilli power (I ground dried chili)
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- Salt – make sure it’s very fine
- Black pepper
- A handful of basil leaves
If you’re cooking dried chickpeas, soak them overnight beforehand and boil for around 40 minutes in slightly salted water until just done. If canned, just crack on below…
Set the oven to 200°C/390°F.
Brush the peppers with oil and roast on a baking tray until burn marks appear and they start to wilt. The should be very soft when done. Dunk them straight into cold water to loosen the skins and peel them off. Bloody fiddly, but occasionally you get lucky and it comes off in one piece. Cut them into finger-width slices and cover. You can warm them up later in the oven.
Drain the chickpeas and rinse well. Mix them with the paprika, chilli powder, salt and pepper in a bowl, then spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Turn the oven off (if the peppers are done) and bake them gently in the residual heat. 10 minutes or so, but check often to make sure they don’t dry out. This won’t take long if they were cooked from dry. Add the finished peppers toward the end to heat through.
If using coarse sea salt, you might want to grind it to a fine powder.
In a pan, fry the chorizo until cooked through to release that lovely oil. Remove it and keep warm but leave the oil in the pan. Add a little more oil and fry the salmon (seasoned with salt & pepper) on a high heat skin side down (if it has skin) for most of the cooking time. Add the prawns for the last couple of minutes. The salmon is done when at 60-62°C/145°F, so use a thermometer to make sure you don’t over cook it. The prawns only take a minute or two,
Meanwhile quickly blitz the about 10 tbsp of good extra virgin oil with the basil leaves and season to taste with coarse salt.
Serve the dish on warmed plates and spoon over the basil oil.