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Silverfish - Angulas
by Jose A. Zorrilla
Considering the circumstances i dont find it proper to embark in merry gastronomic celebrations. Therefore i shall restrict myself to give you a piece of advice when it comes to substitute one of the most coveted and mythical of our dishes, that is, angulas.
I found by sheer luck that a very acceptable ersatz comes from the chinese cooking and it is not expensive at all. Moreover it is fairly widespread fare and if the store does not have it they can always order it.
The name: SILVERFISH
Silverfish are small, thread-like whitish little fishes that look like the real thing. Of course they are not the real thing but IMHO they are much better than gulas or white La Cartuja angulas.
They come frozen in bars that look like soap and the prize is five dollars a pound. It is very important that you do not hurry the defrost or otherwise you will end with a paste in your hands. So, hold the reins and wait. Do it in an open place since the defrost leaves a faint fishy smell in the air. Once the process is complete try to dry them using kitchen paper and then cook. The classical recipe requires only
Extra virgin olive oil Garlic Red hot pepper
The proportion between oil and silverfish is critical since we do not want the dish to be either oily or dry. So, sharpen your senses and exercise your better judgement.
Fry three or four pieces of garlic and some hot red or chili (be careful, do not overdo it) and when the garlic is light brown throw the silverfish. Move briskly till all of them are white, that is, fried.
I thought that perhaps in this moment of the year, with the fishing permits going on both at Costas and Basque Government time had come to discuss that mysterious little creature. For those interested in the subject Blas home page will provide them with complete info.
Jose A. Zorrilla