Let's prepare a good summer "sofrito"

We are undoubtedly living in a historical moment in which life has been accelerated to unprecedented levels.

This “fast-life” approach, adopted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon, has made immediacy a generalised demand to which we give in, influencing more and more our way of doing things.

We let ourselves be seduced by the comfort of ease and accessibility; but also detachment and a standardization of taste.

With “everything everywhere” you will find that the “everything” ends up being all the same. We propose a return to the old, trusty flavours and way of life, which upon one bite, tells you about the place, its people, their way of living life, their characters, customs and origins.

In our fight against speed and haste, we reclaim the quiet, understated pleasures and enjoy what is slowly simmered rather than microwaved.

What better way to do this than with a good "sofrito" like the flagship recipe of the “xup-xup” from the kitchen cooked without a necessity for hurrying or urgency.

 

Here we leave you with the recipe for a deeply rich "sofrito" sauce which we would accompany with our Bonito del Norte. A perfect tomato-based recipe to enjoy during the tomato season or can be stored in a bain-marie to enjoy all year round.

 

 

Ingredients:

1 KG of seasonal tomatoes (we recommend pear or teardrop tomatoes)
1 KG of onions
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Ground black pepper
Brown sugar

 

Method:

· Finely chop the onions and sauté them in extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt and brown sugar. Maintain a medium-low heat (160º) and wait for the onion to take on an intense honey colour.

· Chop the garlic cloves and add them to the pan to brown.

· Clean, peel and crush the tomatoes to create a tomato puree texture, add to the pan and lower the heat to simmer.

· Add the bay leaves (or the desired seasoning i.e. chorizo pepper, basil or nutmeg).

· Wait for all the flavours to mix well and for the excess water from the tomatoes and onions to evaporate (do not add additional water).

· Take a moment to enjoy the aroma of the "xup-xup" and help yourself to a glass of wine to whet your appetite and liven up the wait.

· Season the sauce, and if necessary correct the acidity with extra brown sugar.

 


Clams in green sauce (Almejas en Salsa Verde)

Let this recipe from Grandma teach you how to make a classic green sauce.

A front-runner of traditional Basque sauces to compliment your fish dishes this summer.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 150 grams of clams
  • 75ml of Txakoli (or a dry white wine)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 5 grams of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 20 grams of plain flour (can be adapted to suit thickness of sauce)
  • 300ml of fish stock
  • Pinch of salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

The green sauce is ideal to accompany white fish dishes, such as hake, shellfish and molluscs.

It is a primitive sauce, very authentic with a long history in Basque culinary tradition dating all the way back to 1723.

Therefore, it is recognised as a notable sauce of the gastronomy and still the tradition in many household kitchens since our ancient ancestors cooked it over hot coals and a slow fire.

Although there is no exact science on how it should be made and cooked (it can be adapted to each person’s liking), it is important to achieve a well-blended sauce.

METHOD:

  1. Layer a large, deep, frying pan with extra virgin olive oil and sauté the finely chopped garlic and chilli (optional but adds a touch of spice)
  1. Lightly fry until the garlic is cooked but with no colour (this is important - if the onion and garlic are brown; the green sauce will be brown)
  1. Add the flour closely followed by the Txakoli (or dry white wine), stirring occasionally and well so that the alcohol evaporates, leaving the flavour behind
  1. Add the 300ml fish stock and let it boil well, enabling the mixture of flour and Txakoli to dissolve (eliminating the taste of raw flour) and to thicken the sauce
  1. Add the clams and simmer until they are delved deeply into the sauce, once they have started opening, sprinkle the chopped parsley into the sauce to achieve a nice green colour
  1. Season with a pinch of salt, let it rest for a few minutes then “on egin” (enjoy)!

*we buy our fresh clams in the Galician Rias Baixas*