Thursday, September 10, 2009

Braised Red Snapper with Black Olives and Lupini Beans

When Matt was in Rota, Spain, he not only picked up an arsenal of wine and port, but also some quite interesting foods such as Spanish blood sausage, a type of sheeps milk cheese, cans of olives and "tomate frito" and an interesting package of "saladitos" which I found out they were acutally brined lupini beans. I have never heard of or seen lupini beans. They look like flat butterbeans and taste somewhat between garbanzo and lima beans. The odd thing about these legumes is that no matter how long you cook them for, they will always be slightly al dente. I guess they are highly toxic when dried and you have to cook them for hours and hours and change the water, etc. So the Spanish (and I think Italians, too) found a way to brine these beans and they are simply served as snack food at most bars in Spain. They have an outer shell you have to peel before you pop them in your mouth. The brined lupinis we had were rather salty but they go great with beer--so I was told. Anyway, long story short, Matt and I couldn't possibly eat all of the beans so I came up with this dish using the beans (this recipe is very similar to my Tilapia with Tomato and Chickpeas but without all the spices).

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • About a 1.5 pounds of red snapper
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 8oz. "tomate frito" or El Pato tomato sauce
  • Handful of black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of brined lupini beans, outer shells removed and soaked in warm water for a few minutes to remove excess salt

Wash the red snapper in cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet with 2" sides, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the snapper and quickly sear until you're able to flip the fish over (about 90 seconds). Add the wine and raise the heat and bring to a boil. Add the tomato sauce, olives and lupini beans. Lower heat and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with steamed white rice and a good, dry Spanish wine.

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