Suquet de Peix, a potato-based seafood stew, is a traditional Catalan dish which you will find on the menu in many Catalan restaurants in Barcelona. As seafood is such an integral part of Catalan cuisine, this rich and flavoursome stew has become a firm favourite in the city. The dish itself has humble beginnings as it started out as a hearty meal for fishermen as a way of using up the fish they were unable to sell at the market that day. Whilst it originated as a simple potato and fish soup, today it is a much more elegant dish with the use of ingredients such as saffron and smoked paprika, resulting in a mouthwatering mix of flavours and textures.
Suquet de Peix is a hearty, nourishing dish that is relatively simple to make and can be whipped up for a comforting weeknight dinner mopped up with bread or equally for a sophisticated dinner party to impress guests. The main ingredients are simple; potatoes, seafood and tomatoes but it is the picada (a traditional Catalan ‘sauce’ made from a mixture of roasted nuts, fried bread, garlic and chilli powder ) that really elevates the dish.
For the recipe, any kind of fish or seafood will do; the freshest you can find will work best!
- 1/4 cup blanched almonds
- 1/4 hazelnuts
- 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 slices of white bread or baguette cut into small cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 4 waxy potatoes (chopped into rough pieces)
- 4 tomatoes (grated) or 1/2 can of tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cups fish stock
- 250 grams white fish (cut into small chunks)
- 250 grams of prawns, mussels or clams
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron
- salt and pepper to taste
- a handful of fresh parsley
- 1/2 lemon (juice only)
To make the picada:
- Firstly, toast the hazelnuts and almonds in a dry saucepan until golden. Remove from the pan and place aside.
- Next, heat olive oil in the pan and sauté the garlic and chunks of bread until golden
- Place the toasted nuts, garlic and bread into a food processor along with the chilli powder and a drizzle of olive oil and blend to form a thick, sticky paste. Set aside for later.
To make the stew:
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and add the garlic and tomatoes and cook over a medium heat for around 10 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced and caramelised
- In a separate pan, fry the potatoes in olive oil until almost cooked through then add to the tomatoey mixture.
- Add the paprika and continue to stir for a few minutes until everything is well combined
- Next, pour in the white wine and continue to stir well
- Once most of the alcohol is gone, gently stir in the picada
- Next, carefully place the white fish and seafood on top of the tomato and potato mixture, season well, add the saffron and pour over the fish stock
- Reduce the heat and cook until the fish is tender and the mussels and clams have opened up
- Add the lemon juice and garnish with parsley
- Serve immediately with warm crusty bread and enjoy!