Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Seafood Picnic in Seconds

A Sunday excursionist is called a Dominguero in Spain, here in the US we call them picnickers. Those folks who spend their Sundays driving to the country to brave the the bees and ants and dine on a blanket on the ground. In Spain, they traditionally load up the trunks of their automobiles with everything needed to cook a paella. They meet friends and relatives on the roadway and pull off to enjoy the scenery and the massive amounts of food that the Domingueros bring.

We tend to be a busy lot here in the US. If you don't have the time to load up all the supplies you need for a grand picnic, why not treat yourself to an easy picnic basket that only requires cutting a lemon.

A seafood feast is just a a flip of a tin and the squeeze of a lemon away.

Start with mouthwatering Matiz Pulpo (Octopus) from Galicia. Matiz Octopus is caught by traditional net methods that respect the biological cycles of the species, as well as avoiding harm to other sea creatures. It can be enjoyed right out of the can with no preparation.

Matiz Sardines have been getting rave reviews, whether from the Wall Street Journal or Martha Stewart's "good things." They are a favorite and best-seller. Sprinkle these with some aji amarillo spice from Peru and squeezed lemon for a picnic pleaser.

Matiz Berberechos are on the menu as well. These cockles are canned in brine. They are succulent, plump and refreshing.

Don't forget the Matiz Piparra Peppers (also called guindillas) from the Basque region. They have a wonderful pickled flavor and are quite mild, but they say 1 in every 100 is hot.
Hearty Arroyabe Bonito Tuna rounds out the meal. Fished by traditional line and hook methods (dolphin free), and cleaned by hand, this exceptional white meat tuna comes to us from the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain. The solid texture and rich flavor of Bonito tuna packed in Spanish olive oil is very different from regular albacore tuna. Try it and you'll never go back to regular old tuna.

Now, open a nice bottle of white wine and enjoy the sunshine!