Zarzuela (Spain)

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serves 4 | start to finish: 40 minutes


for the stew

1/2 cup olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 ounces jamon Serrano or prosciutto, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon of pimentón dulce (sweet smoked paprika)
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 large pinch saffron
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups fish stock or clam juice

for the picada

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 slice soft white bread, cubed
6 almonds
3 hazelnuts
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
pinch of salt
1/4 cup white wine
Basic Fish Mixture

In a heavy pot set over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic in it until lightly golden. Add the jamon Serrano or prosciutto and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste and the pimentón dulce and sauté until the mixture browns lightly, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the diced peppers to the pot, along with the saffron, lemon juice, white wine, and fish stock. Bring to a slow boil and cook until the peppers are tender, about 3-4 minutes. Prepare the picada: Heat the oil in a small skillet and fry the bread cubes in it until crisp and golden. Place them in a mortar and pestle or a mini-food processor cup with the remaining picada ingredients and grind them to a paste. Stir into the zarzuela and heat to combine.

Add the Basic Seafood Mixture to the pot and cook very gently until the clams and mussels are open and the fish flakes easily.


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