When grocery shopping at Whole Foods, I saw that they had some great whole Spanish Mackerels for $6.99 a LB. A lot of recipes from Ferran Adria’s family style cookbook uses whole fish and specially Spanish Mackerel, and I had wondered when I would be able to get some so I can try his recipes. I thought whole fishes would be expensive, but one fish turned out to be exactly one pound, and my whole meal for 2 was less than $10! Imagine a Ferran Adria dish for 2 for $10….

The fish had already been gutted and cleaned, so I kept it wrapped in the fridge until I was ready to use it. To make the fish stew, I needed to make a Picada, which is an aromatic sauce traditionally used in Catalan cuisine as a base flavoring, usually added towards the end of cooking process.

To make the picada, I processed together parsley, garlic, and powdered saffron with some olive oil.

Next I added toasted macadamia nuts to the paste and continued to process the mixture.

The picada can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for a few weeks.

To make the fish stew, the mackerel is rinsed in cold water, and cut into 3 equal pieces.

The other ingredients you will need are new potatoes that are cut into 1 inch chunks, finely chopped garlic and parsley leaves, and grate tomatoes that have been placed in a strainer and let drain of it’s juices.

Olive oil is heated in a pot on medium heat, and the chopped garlic added to the pot until it turns golden, then most of the parsley and the drained, grated tomatoes are added to the pot.

After about 5 minutes of cooking, paprika is added to the pot. I used Spanish smoked hot paprika to give the stew an extra dimension of flavor.

The potato chunks are added to the pot until coated in the mixture in the pot.

Fish stock or clam juice is added to the pot and simmered for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

The mackerel pieces are seasoned with salt and pepper and added to the pot, gently simmered for 5 minutes.

A mixture of cornstarch and water is stirred into the pan until the sauce thickens, and the stew is cooked for another 5 minutes until the fish is completely cooked, and the picada is added to the pot.

The dish is finished off with some sprinkles of the reserved chopped parsley, and the stew served in bowls with bread.

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