Grilled Boops Boops – Γοπες ψητες

Κυριακή, 8 Απριλίου, 2012

The moon setting in the early hours of Sunday 8th April

Today is another nice spring day in Marathon, and we have grilled boops boops on the menu.

Σημερα ειναι ακομη μια ομορφη ανοιξιατικη μερα στο Μαραθωνα και το μενου εχει γοπες ψητες.

Boops boops

Boops boops is a humble fish. But when it is fresh, it beats the best stale lobster (paraphrasing Feran Adria).

In order to preserve the flavours and the juices of the fresh fish, I will grill it, honouring a centuries old tradition.

Pickled lemons

To add more tradition and locality to the humble meal, I will use the chopped peel of pickled lemons. It adds fantastic complex flavour that combines heavenly with the taste of the fish.

Boops boops with coriander and pickled lemon peel

After chopping the peel, I use it to stuff the belly of the fish, and sprinkle fresh chopped coriander and coarse sea salt over the fish, with a touch of olive oil.

Grilled boops boops (gopes in Greek)

The grilled fish must be crispy outside and moist and juicy inside. This is the essence of grilling fish. I did it the right way, and heaven could not wait.

Deboned and served grilled boops boops

The flesh was moist and firm, but juicy and delicious. Having said that, nothing could beat the skin. Miles and miles above everything else!

Accompany the fish with a glass of “savatiano” white wine, and you will agree with me that gastronomic perfection is not reserved only for royalty or the truly rich.

Ristorante Uliassi – Senigallia, Marche, Italia

Σάββατο, 19 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2009

Ristorante Uliassi is located in the small resort town of Senigallia, on the Adriatic sea, a few kilometers away from Ancona. It comes highly recommended from Michelin Red Guide  (two stars) and the Italian Gastronomic Guide Gambero Rosso.

As I was on my way to Ravenna, I decided to stop by and taste the creations of the chef. I arrived just in time one late summer night, to experience the dying light and the emerging darkness.

dining_balconyMy menu choice was the “Tuto Crudo”, meaning “Raw all the way”. This would highlight the qualities of the ingredients and the synthetic ability of the chef, as his contribution to the dish would be primarily the synthesis of the ingredients.

potatoes_oysterThe first dish was oyster with potatoes and red onion ice cream with a leaf of chocolate.

The oyster was sumptuous in taste, full or aromas and it was perfectly supported by the tasty potatoes and the heavelnly onion ice cream. The leaf of chocolate gave the necessary bitter undertone.

shrimp_foie

The second dish was shrimp with duck foie gras and strawberry paste. The raw shrimp is sweet in its own way, ans the acidity of the straberry supplemented it in a harmonious way, while the foie added the body that seafood does not have.

cod_tripe_sea_urchin_eggsI now come to one of the absolutely fabulous dishes of the evening and my entire life as a food lover. Frozen sea urchin eggs with cod tripe. What a pandemonium of tastes,  aromas and all of them encased on the tender silky texture of the cod tripe!

tagliatelle_di_sepiaWhat followed was another absolute masterpiece, cuttlefish tagliatelle with pesto of nori seaweed. The cuttlefish was tender and tasty, drassed in the incredibly rich in aromas pesto of the nori! Heavenly, heavenly, heavenly!

rossetti

The saga continued with “rossetti” which is some type of scampi with olive oil, scallions and pine kerners. It was the perfect calming down dish, after the wild extravagant taste of the previous dish. Back to “normal”, civilized, food!

scampoWe stayed on the scampi family, the next dish was scampi in their shell, with tamarind. I confess I am crazy for scampi in their shell, with minimal add ons, as you can really taste the sea in all its glory!

lonzino_lecciaThe next dish combined surf and turf, with glorious mouth melting smoked lonzino (a type of cured ham) accompanied by raw leerfish (lecchia), and pears soaked in grapa!

ricciolaAs we approach the end, leerfish is again on the menu, this type with coconut milk and olive oil!

bacalaoThe last dish of the menu was “esquisada di baccala”. Raw cod chunks (salted cod from San Sebastian in the Basque Country, quite possibly the best in the world), with potatoes, pendolini tomatoes and basil.This is a hymn to primary ingredients of the best quality, as the cod’s texture  is supplemented by the sweetness of the potatoes and the incredible acidity of the small tomatoes that have been blessed by the volcanic soil of Vesuvius.

tiramisouThe tirami-sou that followed was deconstructed and absolutely fantastic! The mascarpone was intense and ever present, the cream golden and thick, the chocolate dressed in coffee chunky and bitter! A caramelized wet biscuit on top provided the necessary absorbing agent.No cake needed!

Σημερα θελω να παμε στο Δουραμπεη στο Μικρολιμανο για μεζεδακια και ψαρακια.

Μια παραδοσιακη δυναμη καλου φαγητου, ο Δουραμπεης σημερα προσφερει ενα ομορφα διαμορφωμενο και δροσερο καλοκαιρινο ντεκ.

Το καλοκαιρινο ντεκ

Το καλοκαιρινο ντεκ

Η αρχη εγινε με αχινοσαλατα τελεια και γευστικωτατη.

Αχινοσαλατα

Αχινοσαλατα

Μετα το λουτρο στις αναλαφρες γευσεις ακολουθησε η αρμονια γευσεων απο τους πετροσωληνες.

Πετροσωληνες

Πετροσωληνες

Η σως στους πετροσωληνες ηταν ενα αριστουργημα, αξιζε δεκα φορες και παραπανω η επισκεψη και μονο για αυτη την αρμονια γευσεων!

Καλαμαρι

Καλαμαρι

Για να καταλαβετε την ενταση και τη διαρκεια της γευσης, εντυσα τη ροδελα του καλαμαριου με τη σως και πηγα για μια ακομη φορα στα ουρανια!

Καραβιδοψυχα

Καραβιδοψυχα

Επιτελους! Καραβιδοψυχα υπεροχα τηγανισμενη, με λιγο πιπερακι, χωρις μαγιονεζα!  Πολιτισμος θαλασσινος και αληθινος!

Κατσουλες

Κατσουλες

Κι ερχομαστε στις αδιαμφισβητητες σταρ του τραπεζιου, τις υπεροχες κατσουλες (Xyrichtys novacula), που οσο ομορφες ειναι να τις βλεπεις αλλο τοσο γευστικες ειναι να τις απολαμβανεις τηγανισμενες σε βουτυρο! Ζητησα απο τον σεφ να βαλει βουτυο γιατι αυτο ψαρακι θελει το βουτυρο του!

Τηγανητες Κατσουλες

Τηγανητες Κατσουλες

Δεν το συζητω, μοναδικες γευσεις ελληνικες, η σαρκα του ψαριου αυτου ειναι σαν το μεταξι! Και μοσχοβολα θαλασσα!

Το τηγανισμα ηταν εργο μαεστρου, που ξερει καλα το ψαρι και το τηγανι!

υγ. Στα αγγλικα το ψαρακι λεγεται Pearly razorfish.

Fish and Seafood in the Boqueria Market, Barcelona

Δευτέρα, 6 Απριλίου, 2009

Today I peesent some pictures of fishes and seafood from the Boqueria Market in Barcelona.  

Bacalao (Cod) 

Bacalao

Bacalao

Dorada (Dory)

Dorada

Dorada

Escorpornas (Scorpion)

Escorpona

Escorpona

St Pierre

San Pietro

San Pietro

 Unknown

fish

Rodaballo (Turbot). Note the dark colouring of the fish, especially compared to the ones of the Eastern Mediterranean, which feature pink colours.  

Turbot

Turbot

Tuna 

Tuna

Tuna

Navajas (razor clams). A perfect delicacy, as you can taste it in the food stalls inside the Boqueria, with parsley and garlic.  

Navajas

Navajas

Navajas

Navajas

Navajas

Navajas

Navajas

A rich variety of crabs all over! It is like a dream.

Centollas (spider crabs)

Centollas

Centollas

Necoras (Velvet crabs)

Necoras

Necoras

Buey vivo (edible crab, cancer pagurus)

Bueys

Bueys

Langostas (lobsters)

Langostas

Langostas

Langostinos (king prawns)

Langostinos

Langostinos

Gambas

Gambas

Gambas

Carabineros

Carabineros

Carabineros

Camaros

Camaros

Camaros

Galeras

Galeras

Galeras

Cigalas

shellfish

 

Crabs

Crayfish

Visit to “La Brecha” Fishmarket, Donostia, San Sebastian

Πέμπτη, 28 Αυγούστου, 2008

 
This is a report on a short and late visit to the fishmarket of “La Brecha” in Donostia, San Sebastian. I went there around 1130 hrs by which time most of the seaffod selling stalls were closed! 
The market is large and houses also meats, game and vegetables.
 
Congrio

Congrio

Besugo - Sea Bream
Besugo – Sea Bream

One of the signs of freshness in the squid is the light grey – brown colour of its skin. When it starts turning rosy the freshness is gone.

The squid is not only fresh, but according to the seller it has been caught on hook, not on the nets. As a reult, it costs 50% more than the “ordinary” catch.
Chipiron (detail)

Chipiron (detail)

Cigala (detail)

Cigala (detail)

Carrillera Rape - Monkfish's Cheeks

Carrillera Rape - Monkfish

 One of my favourite dishes in the Basque country, and wherever else I can find them: hake and cod cheeks. The famous “kokotxas!”. Here we also have monkfish cheeks.
Unbelievable instensity of subtle flavour, as long as you know how to cook them! They are so delicate that I always prefer to cook them in very low fire, in order to preserve the flavours and the texture.
Kokotxa Bacalao - Cod's Cheeks

Kokotxa Bacalao - Cod

 
Percebe (detail)

Percebe (detail)

 This is one of the many Spanish mysteries I have not resolved yet.
I have read the stories about extracting them from the rocks, seen the videos, but have not tasted them yet.
Sapito Negro

Sapito Negro

 I am not sure about the translation of this one, is it “catfish”. Whatever it is, it is sold with is liver sticking out. Which means that there must be a dish with it in the Basque country.
I need to do some investigation on this one!
 
Merluza - Hake

Merluza - Hake

 Another of my favourites, the aetherial “merluza”.
Navajas - Razor Clams (detail)

Navajas - Razor Clams (detail)Not ot mention the razor clams.Seller

 

Lubina - Sea bass

Lubina - Sea bass

Rockfish

Rockfish

Wine Bar dei Frescobaldi – Aeroporto di Roma, Fiumicino, Italy

Δευτέρα, 25 Αυγούστου, 2008

 
Genuinely polite service
Genuinely polite service

I believe that civilization is an everyday affair. Of course saying is not practicing. One of the occasions when I felt that practicing is not that difficult, was when I by chance visited the Frescobaldi Wine Bar at Fiumicino.

I had a couple of hours to kill before catching my flight back to Athens. This time is usually spent shopping things I do not need, or being bored to death.

This time I got lucky. I opened my eyes and there it was: an oasis of civilization.

I has the seafood crudo misto and felt that I was by the sea. I accompanied it with a full bodied glass of chardonnay to establish some balance with the strong raw seafood flavours.

 

 Crudo Misto

Crudo Misto

The very nice lady serving me offered me at the end some nice biscottini (cookies) and I washed them down with a divine glass of Grappa di Brunello. There is no better way to prepare yourself for a flight!

Limanaki Tavern, Neos Pyrgos, Evia, Greece

Κυριακή, 24 Αυγούστου, 2008

 

For those who want to capture the flavours of the Aegean, as fresh as you can get them, the “Limanaki” Tavern in Neos Pyrgos on the northern tip of Evia is the place to go.

The tavern is literally on the small harbour of fishing boats that venture out in the Aegean every day for a catch. The village of Neos Pyrgos is small and its big neighbour, Orei, has all the big fishing boats. Neos Pyrgos has the small ones, and this is why you can eat fish that has been literally hooked, and not caught in the nets.

Limanaki is the favourite place of the fishermen when they return in the morning. You can see them having “tsipouro” (the local grappa, or eau de vie) eight o’clock in the morning, while Nikos, the Limanaki proprietor prepares a nice meze for them.

Enough of all that, lets now get to the food.

In the summer, it is essential to start with ultra tender green beans, called “ambelofassoula”.

 

 Ambelofassoula
Ambelofassoula
Nikos will serve you the freshest squid grilled on charcoal. I cannot begin to describe the flavours.
 
 Squid grilled on charcoal

Squid grilled on charcoal

After that you can have prawns grilled to perfection, that I suggest you eat without taking the head off. Its full of flavours and deliciously crunchy.

   

  

 Prawns grilled on charcoal

Prawns grilled on charcoal

 What comes naturally next is whole fried little fish, called “atherina”.

 

 Atherina

Atherina

The grilled cod that comes to conclude the set has been caught on hook. The fish is sweet, the flesh is firm and has nothing on it but coarse salt. Just add a little olive oil and lemon and you have it.

 

 Grilled Cod
Grilled Cod

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