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GLORIOUS FISH AND SEAFOOD FROM A WINE-COUNTRY GETAWAY IN NORTHERN PORTUGAL'S DOURO VALLEY
By the Tripatini staff
As the Douro River wanders toward the sea through northern Portugal, it carves out a superb environment for grapevines. Port and excellent table wines come from this region, but that's not its only claim to fame: The Douro Valley also ranks as a World Heritage area and, arguably, the most beautiful part of Portugal.
The hotel Aquapura Douro Valley inhabits a historic estate surrounded by lush vineyards. The romantic, updated rooms and the views, spa, and restaurant are well worth a sybaritic visit -- but just in case you can't go there, say, tomorrow, you can still get a taste of Aquapura thanks to this recipe from Chef Paulo Teixeira de Matos.
"The mullet is considered by the Portuguese as one of the top fish you can get from the Atlantic Ocean," says Chef Matos. "It has a beautiful salmon-colored skin with a firm, taste white meat inside. The bread panada is an old, typical Portuguese dish, originally popular with the working class, but it has become trendy when cooked with extra virgin olive oil and clams, as in this recipe."
Mullet with Shellfish and Bread Panada in Light Coriander Olive Oil
1 fillet mullet
Mix of clams and other mollusks, 50 grams, (about two ounces) without shells
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Coriander, 6 g (two tablespoons)
Carrot, chopped,15 g (heaping tablespoon)
Fennel, chopped, 15 g
Courgette (young zucchini), chopped 30 g
Rye bread, 10 g
Garlic, 1 piece
Water, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Crumble the bread, place the olive oil and the garlic in a sauté pan, add the breadcrumbs and water, and stir until cooked. Then, add the shellfish until you have achieved the desired consistency.
Season the fish with salt and pepper and cook it briefly in the sauté.
Put it in the oven for 2 minutes 150 degrees) and prepare the
vegetables, brunoise style, and have them sauté in olive oil.