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Popular Spanish Seafood Recipes for Christmas
Saturday, December 9, 2023 @ 10:34 AM

Spain, a nation steeped in rich culinary traditions, boasts diverse gastronomy that varies from region to region. However, one universal aspect of Spanish cuisine during Christmas is the significant emphasis on seafood and fish dishes. This lean, flavourful fare of the Mediterranean is a choice of food over Christmas, celebrated through a variety of popular recipes. Let's take a look at some:

1. Langostinos a la Plancha

'Langostinos a la Plancha' or grilled prawns is a perennial Spanish Christmas favourite. This dish is exceptionally straightforward, consisting merely of fresh prawns, sea salt and olive oil. The key to perfection lies in grilling the prawns on high heat for just the right amount of time to attain a deliciously chargrilled flavour while ensuring the prawns remain tender.


2. Gambas al Ajillo

'Gambas al Ajillo' or garlic shrimp is another beloved Spanish classic. Sautéed in a simmering mixture of garlic, hot peppers, and olive oil, these succulent morsels are imbued with a rich, spicy flavour that will warm up any Christmas gathering. The dish is traditionally served in a 'cazuela' (terracotta dish), accompanied by crusty bread to mop up the savoury sauce.


3. Merluza a la Koskera

Merluza a la Koskera, also known as Hake in Green Sauce, is a traditional Christmas dish hailing from Spain's Basque country. This recipe features hake fillets cooked in a fragrant sauce made of garlic, parsley, and white wine. It is then garnished with clams and white asparagus, offering a warming, filling main course for Christmas dinner.


4. Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Bacalao a la Vizcaina, or Salt Cod in Biscayne Sauce, is a renowned Spanish dish traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. The cod is first desalted by soaking it in water for a couple of days before being cooked in a rich and complex tomato and red pepper sauce. This flavourful dish is an integral part of the Spanish 'Nochebuena' (Good Night) celebration.


5. Calamares en su Tinta

'Calamares en su Tinta,' or Squid in its Ink, is another unique recipe commonly served during the festive season in Spain. This Basque Country speciality comprises tender squid pieces cooked in a rich, black sauce made from the ink of the squid. The result is a delightfully briny and robust dish that pairs well with white rice


6. Zarzuela de Mariscos

Zarzuela de Mariscos, or Seafood Medley, is a grand celebration of the bounty of Spanish seas. It comprises a harmonious blend of fish and shellfish, such as monkfish, prawns, mussels, and clams, cooked in a deeply flavoured tomato, onion, and white wine broth, aromatic with saffron and paprika. Decorated with crusty bread and rustic aioli, this Catalan classic is a quintessential centrepiece for a Spanish Christmas feast.

Spain's vast array of seafood delicacies pays testament to the country's rich maritime culture and tradition. The fusion of simple yet high-quality ingredients yield dishes that don't just grace the Christmas table but also represent the heart of Spanish celebrations – unity, warmth, and abundance. Enjoy these delectable seafood dishes for a distinctive and memorable Spanish Christmas!

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