Friday, February 20, 2009

Tuna Belly - Simply "BasqueTaztec" Marmitako

With renewed vigor (thanks to a kimbap fix earlier this week), I opened the freezer door tonight to find a couple of slabs of tuna belly.  Since Brian has been griping of late about missing red meat, I figured I'd feed him something with enough of a sanguine hue to sate his gastrointestinal quandary (because I'm just that nice).  So what does one do with tuna belly?

Since ours was probably not toro, I preferred to cook the fish very well and decided to whip up what the Basque call Marmitako.  Named for the pot or 'marmita' from whence it comes, this hearty stew of potatoes, peppers, and tuna belly was traditionally made on the fishing boats (kind of like cioppino).  Today it's found on almost any menu in the Basque Country.

Instead of bitter green peppers, I added very finely chopped celery and tons of green onion.  I probably doubled the amount of garlic that is normally called for and substituted the suggested wine or cognac for cheap but nonetheless tasty sherry.  For extra pep, I added a couple of deliciously dangerous chipotle peppers, which are essentially smoked and dried jalapenos.  The fragrant and spicy marmitako was served up with oven-toasted, crusty garlic bread.  Not to toot my own foghorn, but I'd say this turned out to be a fantastic BasqueTaztec soup!

Photo: Cooking Light

1 comment:

Cesar said...

Sorry, but Tuna belly is never use for Marmitako, and there is not any similarity of that photo with marmitako.
Believe me, I am Basque and my family has been cooking that for generations.