Canarian Fish Casserole is one of the great seafood stews mainly due to the moderate use of herbs and spices that do not disguise the taste of the main ingredients, rather they enhance them. Furthermore, its combination with the islands’ excellent potatoes help make it, when fresh fish and potatoes in season are used, one of the best dishes on the Canary Islands. This dish is often accompanied with “escaldón de gofio.”
Season the pieces of fish with salt and pepper separating the head and the belly.
In a frying pan, first lightly fry the head and then the belly. When done, place them in a pot full of water, with salt and a twig of coriander and boil them for about half an hour.
Then fry the rest of the fish in a pan and once done put it to one side to use later.
Crush two garlic cloves. Peel the tomato, remove the seeds and finally chop it into small pieces, do the same with the onion, the pepper and a bunch of parsley.
Strain the oil from the frying pan and use it to make a “fritura” (fried mixture) with the onion and pepper until they are soft. Then add the tomato and parsley. When the mixture is ready add some paprika making sure not to burn it. This mixture is poured into the water where the fish heads are being boiled and is left to boil for another fifteen minutes to make a fish stock
In another large pot put the potatoes – peeled and cut in slices – and on top put the pieces of fried fish. Then pour the fish stock on top and check if salt needs to be added. Put it back on the flame and cook slowly until the potatoes are done.
Just before serving, prepare a lightly fried mixture using the crushed garlic, cumin and saffron, which is added to the casserole together with a little food colouring dissolved in a spoonful of vinegar. Keep it simmering for a couple of minutes and then leave it to stand for a while before serving.