Coarse Fishing in Spain by Philip Pembroke

Choose which wine to buy, to accompany sea bass, trout and lamprey recipes from Spain, France and Portugal

Help to choose which wine to buy, to accompany sea bass, trotu and lamprey recipes. I've recommended a  bottle of red or white wine that will complement each fish dish shown below. The fish I've included are brown trout, octopus, eels, lamprey (not strictly a fish - it doesn't have a jaw bone) and sea bass - your "catch of the day". For meat lovers, I've included a superb Northern Spain dish - sirloin steak, covered in Cabrales blue cheese from Asturias. These delicious recipes, from Spain, France and Portugal can be downloaded onto your PC or hand held device, for free and printed out at home. Details of how and where you can catch these fish, using the ingredients mentioned below, are found in my fishing guide books for Spain, France and Portugal.

Click, just below to download free PDF copies of individual recipes

1. Lamprey dish from Dordogne 2. Octopus dish from Galicia 3. Trout dish from Granada 4. Sea bass dish from Portugal 5. White fish with baby eels, dish from Galicia 6. Sirloin steak with blue cheese recipe from Asturias


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With its lush Pyrenean pastures, Trout Aragón Style is a recipe for trout cooked with ham - Aragón is a Northern Spanish region in the Pyrenees famous for its fished filled rivers.Ingredients: 4 fresh trout, caught from the River Cinca near Jaca in Huesca province.The dish goes well with a local, red Crianza wine called Inés de Monclús. With river trout, bigger is best, but with supermarket trout, the smallest taste best. To make genuine Aragón-style trout, the fish should first be marinated with chopped onion, red wine, pepper, and one bay leaf, a pinch of thyme, rosemary, and mint for about two hours, and then cooked in the marinade with a splash of oil and salt. The marinade is then strained and bound with two egg yolks to make a sauce. Clean the trout then gut and wash under the tap, with sea salt, to remove any sliminess. Season with pepper: and then leave to drain.Fry a slice of ham in an oval frying pan with the oil, then remove. Dust the trout with flour, shake off any surplus flour and place a slice of ham inside each. Fry over a medium heat in the ham- flavored oil (3-4 minutes on each side). Drain on kitchen paper and serve with steamed new potatoes in their skins.Further information about where to catch the best trout is found in “The Essential Guide to Fly Fishing in North East Spain” available

Recipe for sirloin steak with Cabrales cheese - Receta Solomillo al Cabrales (Two servings). The guidebook’s author once enjoyed this traditional Asturias dish, served by Hotel La Salmonera by the banks of Spain’s finest salmon fishery, the River Sella. A great red wine that will complement any meat dish, this bottle of Tierra do Cangas comes from Cangas de Onis in Asturias. Ingredients: sirloin steak Cabrales (traditional Asturias blue cheese) Mushrooms, Red wine, Flour,Butter, 2 tbsp or so of olive oil. Cook time: 20 minutes. Method: clean and slice mushrooms. Melt butter and ad flour to frying pan. Ad wine and heat gently. Ad olive oil to another frying pan heat olive oil then ad mushrooms. Ad water to first frying pan in order to thin sauce into a creamy consistency. Crumbled cheese is added to the cream sauce then the cooked mushrooms are added and allowed to simmer for ten minutes. Sirloin steaks are grilled on high heat until rare. The steaks are added to the frying pan and cooked in the sauce for until the meat is cooked to suit taste. Asturias is famous for its salmon fishing, details on where to catch Spain’s finest Atlantic salmon and trout are found in “The Essential Guide to Fly Fishing in Asturias - Northern Spain” available from:

After fishing, enjoy your evening meal. Riofrío is a popular trout fishing destination, near Granada in Andalusia (Southern Spain), its most popular dish is trout steamed in tomato, garlic, and onions. For dinner you might try some trout, pan-fried in a little bit of olive oil and fresh garlic. A great wine that will complement any fish dish, this bottle of red comes from Córdoba.Restaurants are plentiful in Riofrío - Mesón Alazor, Rama Palacios, Paco Rama, Restaurante Fernández, Restaurante Los Jiménez and Mesón Rio Frío offer quiet spots to enjoy a cold beer or tasty glass of cold sherry - with tapas followed by a stunning meal.Caviar recipe – Mezzalunas. These tapas are easy to prepare and look like ravioli but with thin slices of potato in place of pasta, half of them stuffed with smoked petits pois (small French peas) individually peeled so that it is almost the same size as a sturgeon’s egg and the rest filled with caviar that has been warmed but not cooked, over which are scattered a few raw blanched almonds and gossamer threads of orange zest. Further information, about Spain’s trout and barbel fisheries, including Riofrio is found in “The Essential Guide to Fly Fishing in Southern Spain and the Costa Resorts” available from:

After a day’s fishing, enjoy your evening meal, this delicious recipe is for whole roasted sea bass (Six servings) - from the Algarve in southern Portugal. Ingredients: 1 x 1kg (2lb 3oz) whole sea bass, fresh or defrosted, scaled, cleaned and head removed. 1 x 15ml spoon (1 tablespoon) sea salt, 2 lemons, 1 sliced and 1 juiced, 2 bunches of rosemary, 4 x 15ml (4 tablespoons) olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, roughly sliced. Azul Portugal (2007) is a white wine from Vinho Verde region. It’s a perfect compliment to any seafood dish.Method: Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/ 425 degrees F/ Gas Mark 7. Salt the inside and outside of the fish, then set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Slash the skin of the bass in about three places on each side and insert the lemon slices. Place the herbs inside the fish, and then transfer to a greased baking tray. Heat the oil in a small pan and very gently cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes, but do not allow to brown.Pour the oil and garlic on top of the fish. Bake in the hot oven for 20 minutes. Baste frequently with the oil and cook until the fish flakes easily and the skin is slightly crisp. Pour the lemon juice over the bass and serve immediately.Sea bass are a popular catch in Portugal. Further information, on where and how to catch a sea bass is found in “The Essential Guide to Fishing in Portugal” available from:

A famous recipe, popular in St Laurent du Bois, for lamprey cooked in a red wine sauce - lamproie à la Bordelaise (six servings) - from Dordogne in south west France. Ingredients: 1 lamprey, 1 bottle of good Bordeaux wine(Graves, Médoc or Saint-Emilion) 15 cl of peanut oil, 2 shallots, 1 large onion, 2 slices of Bayonne ham ,2 cloves of garlic , 4 soup spoons of flour , 1 bouquet garni , 8 large leeks , 5 cl cognac or armagnac , 1 or 2 squares of chocolate (optional) salt and pepper. Method: tie up the lamprey by the head and cut into the tail with a knife, after positioning it above a bowl to collect the blood. Let the blood drain out completely (at least two hours). Plunge the fish into boiling water and remove the central cord, the head, tail and eggs. Clean it under running tap water. Cut the lamprey into sections of about 4-5 cm and place them in a marinade of cooked, flambéed wine. In a pan, fry the shallots, onion and ham cut into pieces in the oil. Add in the crushed garlic, the flour and the wine from the marinade, along with the bouquet garni and leave to simmer gently for 1 hour. Add salt and pepper. Chop the leeks into pieces and fry gently, then put them into the sauce. Brown the pieces of lamprey (after draining thoroughly), flambé them and then transfer them into the pan. Cook for another hour. Lamprey reach 1m and 3kg. It’s considered a culinary delicacy in southwest France. Further information is provided in “The Essential Guide to Coarse Fishing in Southern France” available from:

Pulbo a la Feria is Galicia’s octopus dish - the recipe is from northwest Spain. Pulpeiras are specialist octopus cooks who go from fiesta to fiesta, across NW Spain, practising the art of pulbo a feira: octopus “in the style of the fair,” which is the style in which Galicia most enjoys its octopus. This is available at any market in Galicia; all the market squares have a building which houses pulpo stalls on market day. These stalls are always full at lunchtime with local people.Octopus is boiled in huge copper pots over flames and then its legs are dressed in olive oil, rock salt and a pinch of paprika, you can buy small medium or large portions then take your plate to a seat in the pulpo building where you can get drinks and bread to go with your dish.When people come on holiday from other regions in Spain this is what they all want to try. It’s not only the octopus but the whole atmosphere of the market area that creates a great feeling. A local wine called Albarino comes from river valleys exiting into the rias baixas (lower estuaries) on the Pontevedra coast. It’s a very reliable brand and it ranges from approximately four to eighteen euros. In the rest of Spain, octopus is pronounced pulpo. Further information, about Spain’s finest trout fishing rivers is found in “The Essential Guide to Fly Fishing in Galicia – NW Spain” available from:

Recipe for white fish with baby eels - Merluza con Gulas (Two servings) . A great white wine that will complement any fish dish this bottle of Terra do Lobo comes from Galicia. Ingredients: two fresh fillets of merluza (haddock or hake, depending where you could also use any other white fish), half an onion, thinly sliced, 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced, 3 large tomatoes, chopped coarsely
handful of fresh parsley, chopped, bit of fresh basil, 2 lemon wedges, pack of gulas -baby eels, one piece dried whole cayenne pepper , sea salt and pepper to taste, 2 tbsp or so olive oil (Cook time: 20 minutes) Method: sauté the garlic and onion together in olive oil for a few minutes. Once soft, add chopped tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer on medium for ten minutes or so, until tomatoes are soft. On the side, heat up a bit more olive oil and sauté the baby eels for 2-3 minutes with the cayenne pepper. Set aside. Once tomatoes are soft, nestle your fish fillets into all the goodness; make sure they get covered with the sauce. Cover and let cook for five minutes or so, until the fish is cooked through. Add baby eels at the end. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on there and serve.

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