The magical San Juan night was three days ago and, as usual, I did not manage to prepare the traditional Catalan, sweet coca; being prepared specially for the night of June 23rd - la noche de San Juan (I hope to share this recipe with you the next year:)). Coca de Sant Joan (in Catalan) or coca de San Juan (in Spanish) is nothing else than an oval cake similar to a sweet bread topped with candied fruits and pine nuts or with custard. More original is - also popular in this day - coca de chicharrones (coca de llardons in Catalan), a puff pastry with crackling, pine nuts and sugar.
Traditionally, the San Juan night is celebrated on the beach with roaring bonfires, drink, food, and friends. According to tradition, if people jump over bonfire three times on San Juan's night, they will be cleansed and purified, and their problems burned away. Barcelona's beaches, however, do not resemble the very pleasant tradition, because here the voices and thoughts are drowned out by the noise and roar of firecrackers; and this is why instead of the beach I normally chose the street. In many parts of the city the streets are alive with parties (in my neighbourhood at the intersection of two streets). People gather together and create large bonfires from any kind of wood, such as old furniture and other non-usable wooden objects. They also put out the tables on the street and they have a lot of fun drinking, eating, listening to the music and even dancing.
And now the recipe:). Not the traditional ''coca'', but monkfish with clams:).
Ingredients (serves 2):
200 g monkfish fillets (skin removed)
400 g clams
2 garlic cloves
150 ml dry white wine
200 ml fish broth (optional)
1 teaspoon flour
small bunch of parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
Discard the clams that are open, chipped, broken, or damaged in any way. Rinse the clams under running water, then soaked them for 1-2 hours in fresh water with a handful of coarse salt (this way the clams will clean themselves of the sand and other impurities they have collected). Just before cooking, pull the clams out of the water, trying not to mix them with the sand which sunk to the bottom of the bowl, and put them into the strainer. Rinse thoroughly under running water to get rid of the salt.
In the frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add finely chopped onion. Fry for 3 minutes and then add finely chopped garlic and parsley. Add the fish pieces and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side. Add the flour and mix well. Pour in the wine and optionally the hot fish broth. Reduce for 2-3 minutes and then add the clams. Cover and simmer until the clams are opened (discard the ones that remained closed). Before serving, sprinkle with additional chopped parsley.