CÁDIZ IS A VIBRANT TOWN OF STRAIGHT NARROW STREETS ON A HEADLAND PERCHED AT THE END OF A FINGER-LIKE PENINSULA. THE PEOPLE LIVING HERE — THE GADITANOS, CÁDIZ LOCALS — HAVE DEVELOPED THEIR OWN ACCENT AND SLANG AND ARE KNOWN ACROSS SPAIN FOR THEIR WICKED SENSE OF HUMOUR. ONE OF MY FAVOURITE DISHES FROM HERE IS CUTTLEFISH AND CHICKPEAS. IT IS A CLASSIC PRESSURE-COOKER RECIPE, BUT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE, USE A LARGE HEAVY-BASED CASSEROLE DISH AND SIMMER IT FOR TWICE AS LONG, ADDING A LITTLE EXTRA WATER DURING COOKING TO KEEP THE INGREDIENTS COVERED.
Place the cuttlefish in a
Meanwhile, toast the saffron threads in a small dry frying pan over medium heat just until the threads deepen in colour, then place in a mortar and pestle. Add the mint, parsley and peppercorns and pound until a coarse paste forms. Squeeze the reserved garlic cloves from their skins into the mortar. Add 1 tablespoon of the chickpea cooking liquid and pound until a smooth paste forms.
Stir the mixture into the chickpeas and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve hot, with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the juices.
© 2009 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.