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Trucha a la Navarra

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 April 2010 at 15:48

Quote John 21:1-19

1After [He appeared to His followers in Jerusalem,] Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and He showed Himself in this way. 2Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples. 3Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered Him, “No.” 6He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

9When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.

15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16A second time He said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to Him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this He said to him, “Follow me.”

it has been a long time since i have read a more peaceful passage, and this scene stirs many emotions within me.
 
my good friend, john (some of you know him as rivet), sent me a wonderful book for Christmas, titled culinaria: spain. it is a very nice book describing the culinary history and culture of spain, and part of a series covering many countries and regions throughout the world, including hungary, greece, france, germany, italy, the caribbean, southeast asia and others. i strongly recommend any of these books to anyone who is truly interested in what we are trying to accomplish with this site.
 
one of the recipes in culinaria: spain is a splendid-looking dish called trucha a la navarra, which is translated as "trout cooked in the manner of navarra," a region in the far northern part of spain on the border with france. 
 
Quote trucha a la navarra 
  • 4 fresh trout, gutted
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of serrano ham (prosciutto is an acceptable substitute)
  • flour for coating
  • 4 1/2 oz. (125g) smoked bacon, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, cut into slices

wash and dry the trout; season the fish with salt and pepper, then stuff each trout with a slice of serrano ham. secure the trout with wooden picks to prevent the ham escaping when it is fried.

next, coat the trout in flour, so they turn beautifully crisp when they are fried. shake off any excess flour. too much flour will form lumps and burn in the hot fat.
 
cook the diced bacon in a skillet with olive oil until the fat runs. then add the garlic. when the garlic is golden brown, lift the diced bacon and garlic out of the oil and set aside.
 
next, fry the trout in the remaining oil. return the bacon and garlic to the skillet if a robust flavour is required. fry the trout, turning carefully, until they are brown and crisp, then serve immediately. the diced bacon and garlic can be scattered over the trout before serving.
 
variations: wrap another slice of ham around the trout before coating in the flour, or fry the ham and trout separately and serve the fish on the slices of fried ham.
 
navarra is the eastern-most region of "basque country" in spain; its capital, pamplona, is famous for its annual "running of the bulls" festival.
 
 
hemingway provides the backdrop:
 
Quote i did not feel the first strike. when i started to pull up i felt that i had one and brought him, fighting and bending the rod almost double, out of the boiling water at the foot of the falls, and swung him up an onto the dam....
 
while i had him on, several trout had jumped at the falls. as soon as i baited up and dropped in again i hooked another and brought him in the same way. in a little while i had six. (they were all the same size.) i laid them out, side by side, all their heads pointing the same way, and looked at them. they were beautifully colored and firm and hard from the cold water. it was a hot day, so i slit them all and shucked out the insides, gills and all, and tossed them over across the river. i tooko the trout ashore, washed them in the cold, smoothly heavy water above the dam, and then picked some ferns and packed them all in the bag, three trout on a layer of ferns, then three more trout, and then covered them with ferns. they looked nice in the ferns, and now the bag was bulky, and i put it in the shade of the tree.
 
it was very hot on the dam, so i put my worm-can in the shade with the bag, and got a book out of the pack and settled down under the tree to read until bill could come up for lunch.
 
ernest hemingway - the sun also rises, 1926
 
culinaria brings this into focus and provides the recipe:
 
Quote in glowing terms, the american novelist ernest hemingway expressed his appreciation of the trout found in abundance in navarra. the writer claimed to have caught the finest specimens of his entire life near burguete. even alexandre dumas, a french literary figure who was an implacable critic of spanish cookery, had nothing but praise for the trout found in spain....
 
the most common catch in the north is the common brown trout, a small species of trout with firm flesh and little fat this species (the latin name is salmo trutta), is found both in spain and here in montana. it is easily recognized by its silvery skin, which has a sprinkling of black and red spots. the salmon trout (trucha alsalmonada) is also found splashing around in spanish streams; it has a very light skin and pale pink flesh, but it is not a separate species. its striking colour and delicate flavour are acquired from the huge quantities of crayfish it devours....
 
 
trout is adaptable in the kitchen, and can be prepared either for a fast or for a feast. the famous trucha a la navarra (trout navarra-style), like so many traditional popular dishes, was born of necessity. hundreds of years ago, cooking oil was a luxury in the mountainous country of the pyrenees; lard or bacon fat was mostly used for cooking. trout were also cooked using pork fat; in times of plenty a little lean ham was added, for there is no doubt that the flavour of an air-dried jamon serrano and the tender flesh of mountain trout are a perfect combination. nevertheless, the arguments still rage as to whether the ham should go underneath or inside the trout.
 
it is my intention to prepare this dish in one of the few places in the world where i am at peace, as wehn reading the passage above; this place is - and always will be - bear paw lake in the bear paw mountains south of where i live.
 
here are a few views - the first is what i see from my favourite fishing spot:
 
 
the second is a view from across the lake looking at what would be behind my favourite fishing spot, with my youngest son and our pup (when she was a pup!) in the foreground:
 
 
every spring, the geese return to the area at about this time of year, to mate, nest and bring their younglings into the world:
 
 
and it always seems to be about the same time as our first fishing trip, and always to the same spot. the fishing is always good and the trout, while they may not be monsters, are numerous and the perfect size for the pan:
 
 
one of these days, before i die, i will prepare trucha a la navarra at a campfire: 
 
 
i am definitely looking forward to that day....
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2010 at 05:13
That is one gorgeous fishing spot Tas....and some fine looking young men as well. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote got14u Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2010 at 07:02
every time i look at these pics I am jealous that you are out fishing...I plan on going this sunday up to clark's fork of the yellowstone.....maybe some trucha a la navarra is in order...never know.
Jerod

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2010 at 07:05
thanks for the kind words, dave!
 
jerod - i haven't been out yet this year - those pix (except for the one with the pup) are from early spring to be sure, but were actually taken a couple of years ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2012 at 11:58
Okay --- Lovely fotos ... Montana actually resembles Navarra a bit -- except, The Pyrenees are more rugged and higher ... however, it has similar latitude and both being interior blessed with rivers and forests of great masses.
 
Hemmingway ! I am a Hemmingway Fan! I love the book and the film, The sun also rises, When the bell tolls and Farewell to arms ... I have read all his works --- as a matter of fact, last year REREAD ... and saw all his classic films I had collected.
 
SERRANO HAM = proscuitto di parma is great substitute! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2012 at 12:15
hi, margi -
 
yes, i do love montana, and consider myself fortunate to have grown up here. i moved away for a few years to another beautiful place (the black hills of south dakota), but it just wasn't the same, and we moved back. i don't ever plan to leave montana again, except for vacations etc.
 
hemingway ~ from some reading i've done, it seems that he was almost a national hero over there - or, sometimes, a national villain, depending on whom you talk to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2012 at 12:32
I can see, that you love your land --- you should visit Navarra, Galicia, Asturias and Lleida ( pronounced  JAY DAH ) ... Also; Valle D´Asti, Piedmont and Lombardy ... The 3 northern Provinces of Italia ...
 
Perhaps, you should fly over to Navarra for a fishing trip! HEMMINGWAY drove down from Paris for his fishing trips in the rurals, outside of Pamplona... This is Iberian trout country. I am sure that Montana has lovely trout too ...
 
Your trout Navarran style, is perfect -- do it ...  

I have been studying the Iberian recipes, to see what is needed to be more complete, verses my version of something historical or modern ... I did want to mention that there are several ways to prepare the trout:

1) sauté with the ham inside the fish and then dredged and sautéed
2) sauté with the ham wrapped around and then dredged and sautéed
3) oven baked with ham wrapped around or filling inside cavity of trout with white wine, as one needs a liquid to bake in clay dish ---
 
The subbing of Proscuitto di Parma is fine for Serrano or Extremaduran Ham or Huelva ... or Teruel ... serve with a ROSÉ wine.
 
Great post. Lovely dish with  lots of flavor however, still light for spring and summer
 
Great idea
 
Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2012 at 12:38
believe me, margi, i would love to visit spain, and many other countries in europe and the mediterranean ~ one of these days, perhaps when the children leave home, we will be able to!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 April 2016 at 02:56
Ron,

This is an amazing dish and I can imagine that freshly caught trout !  Absolutely phenomenal ..

The Dehuesa Iberian Acorn Fed Ham ( available now via  LA TIENDA ) gives such a wonderful yet subtle sublime exquisiteness to the trout too ...

I prepare it all 3 ways depending on my time and where I am ! 

Yes, cast iron stove top is fine though I personally prefer the oven baked versión which is lighter and juicier ..  The White wine or even Sidra ( Apple sparkling Cider ) just gives this dish such elegance !

ENJOY.

Have a lovely day and Thanks for the amazing article and background too !!!

 
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