Gallega is in the upper northwest corner of Spain, bordering Portugal. It is famous as not only the ancient capital of Spain, but as the home of some of world’s best canned seafood from its abundant shorelines and brackish waterways. Besides the region’s famous canned fish and Tarta del Santiago, Gallegans are masters in preparing octopus. Pulpo a la Gallega, also known as Pulpo a Fiera (Galician name meaning “fair style octopus”). The traditional dish was made by slapping a fresh octopus against a wall or stone to tenderize it. It’s then boiled in a copper cauldron, sliced, and finished in a fabulous sauce of olive oil, paprika and lemon. This dish replaces the hard to find octopus with a mild fish like flounder, cod, or in this case, Turbot.
Ballo a la Gallega – Turbot in the style of Gallega
- Frying pan
- Medium saucepan
- Mesh strainer
- 3 lb Turbot, deboned and cut crosswise into 3-inch slices
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup Dry white wine
- 1 cup Water
- 2 medium Onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 large Carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 medium Boiling potato, peeled and cut into quarters
- 3 sprigs Parsley
- 5 Black peppercorns
- 1 cup Olive oil
- 3 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 medium Yellow onion, cut into thin rings
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 tsp Sweet pimenton (paprika)
- ½ Lemon, juiced
- Kosher salt
- Season fish with salt and set aside. In a saucepan, bring water and wine to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and add onions, carrots, potatoes, parsley, and peppercorns. Cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Pour contents of saucepan through a fine mesh strainer set over a skillet large enough to fit the fish pieces. Remove potatoes from strainer and keep warm in a covered bowl.
- Place turbot pieces in the sauté pan with strained broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then decrease the heat and simmer over low heat, uncovered, until fish becomes opaque. About 10 minutes.
- While fish is cooking, heat olive oil over high heat in another frying pan. Add garlic, onion, bay leaf and cook, stirring, for around 10 minutes or until onion turns golden brown. Remove from heat and add lemon and paprika, mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide fish and potatoes between plates, pour sauce over fish and serve while hot.