Salpicón de Marisco

Chilled Seafood Salad

banner

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • 6

    Medias Raciones

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

THE LAST TIME I ATE SALPICÓN WAS IN A BAR IN CÁDIZ, A CITY ON THE PERIPHERY OF THE SHERRY TRIANGLE. I HAD BEEN WATCHING A BRASS BAND PRACTISING FOR THE NEXT DAY’S BULLFIGHT IN THE COURTYARD OF A BLOCK OF FLATS. WHEN THE LAST TRUMPET FINISHED ECHOING OFF THE CONCRETE WALLS, THE BAND’S MUSIC WAS REPLACED BY THE SHRILL CALL OF A FLOCK OF GULLS CHASING A SCHOOL OF FISH IN THE BAY. THE SUN HOVERED OVER THE BAY OF CÁDIZ, ITS RAYS FLARING IN THE CLOUDS IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE, FLOODING THE WHOLE WESTERN SKY WITH RICH YELLOW LIGHT. THE BAND MEMBERS CAME INTO THE BAR SHORTLY AFTER ME. SOME DRANK BEER. MOST HAD SHERRY. THEY ALL ORDERED SALPICÓN – A COLD SALAD OF POACHED SEAFOOD AND SUMMER VEGETABLES. ALTHOUGH IT SOUNDS LIGHT, SALPICÓN HAS A DEPTH OF FLAVOUR THAT MARRIES PERFECTLY WITH CHILLED MANZANILLA SHERRY.

Ingredients

  • 4 bay leaves
  • 450 ml (16 fl oz) dry sherry
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 250 g (9 oz) piece of skinless blue eye trevalla, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks
  • 200 g (7 oz) cleaned squid hoods, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks
  • 100 g ( oz) scallops, trimmed
  • 250 g (9 oz) raw prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined, leaving the tails intact
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded (see glossary) and chopped
  • 1 green capsicum (pepper), seeded and membranes removed, cut into 5 mm (¼ inch) dice
  • 1 large Lebanese (short) cucumber, roughly peeled, halved lengthways, then seeded and cut into 1 cm (½ inch) chunks
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) chardonnay vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • crusty bread, to serve

Method

Pour 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) water into four separate saucepans. Add a bay leaf, 100 ml ( fl oz) of the sherry and a garlic clove to each saucepan and bring to the boil.

Add the fish to one saucepan and cook for 6 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a tray. In the other three saucepans cook the remaining seafood separately, cooking the squid for 2–3 minutes, and the scallops and prawns for 1½ minutes each. Transfer all the cooked seafood to the tray and allow to cool.

Place the mussels and the remaining 50 ml ( fl oz) sherry in a large frying pan and cook over high heat until the sherry comes to the boil. Cover the pan and cook, shaking the pan continuously, for 3–4 minutes, or until the mussels open. Pour the mussels into a colander set over a bowl, reserving 100 ml ( fl oz) of the cooking liquid and discarding any mussels that haven’t opened. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and place on the tray with the other seafood.

Combine the tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, onion and parsley in a large bowl. Add the reserved mussel liquid, the olive oil, vinegar, white pepper and sea salt flakes and mix well. Add the seafood and gently toss again. Refrigerate until chilled, then serve with crusty bread.