Sunday, April 27, 2008

Basque Baby Eels & Buzzcocks

Zola: When our good friend José sent in his receta from Spain he also sent a picture of the dish that looked like this. Now, I didn't know what gulas or elver were so I looked at the picture and thought, "José sent us a recipe for pasta? Lame. That's not very Spanish." We met José in Barcelona, but he & his family are from the Basque region. First I thought that maybe pasta is more common there? I thought about it some more and it just didn't make sense. It just wasn't José's style to lame out on on us. I set about to doing some research and learned that elver are baby eels (and the gulas are a surimi substitute). Look at me, learning new things. With the help of Swiss and a trip to Boise (the Basque capitol of North America--who knew?), I got myself a good supply of the little guys.

Jose: Important observation. The Dish I'm gonna explain is Elver with garlic and prawls but at the same time it's not exactly that. Let's see, the elver is a really expensive food, and as many of this kind of plates (like cod, for example) there's a substitute which is much cheaper but remains some of the carachteristics of the original. For a really affordable price we can make a dish easy to do and ideal for special occasions as for everyday life as well. The substitute is called "gula", and its most known commercial name is"gula del norte" which could be found in the States. Maybe not very easily but could be found.

Well, we'll need, for 4 people:

16 ounce (400 gr.) of fresh "gulas"
16 ounce (400 gr.) of peeled prawns
2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil

You have to pour the oil over de frying pan, when the oil is hot enough put the garlic (cut in thin pieces) and the prawns. After a minute or a minute and a half, put the "gulas". Then Remove, everything sautéed. After that, you can wet your fingers in cold water and pour that on the "gulas". The best presentation is to put the gulas, garlic and prawls into a earthenware pot.

A good complement is white wine and a salad.

It's a really easy dish to do but at the same time it's not the typical thing you do everyday and it fits perfectly in the punk philosophy, you can do it yourself, in a very short period of time and as a beautiful Buzzcocks song it will leave a big smile in your face because it's really, really tasty. Did I had to make that stupid comparison, my friends? of course not but if it makes you remember that you should prove at least once this north Spain dish I'll have done my duty.


Zola: I also added some Spanish style bread--toasted, rubbed with garlic & tomato, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Add some jamon if you like. Suffice to say, José did his duty!


Larry Rains said...

I loved this story. Got to get you the story of the eel that wouldn't die! I think that you guys will enjoy.

Zola said...

oooh. I'm intrigued!