MALLORCA'S CHEF POWER
These days there are so many great little restaurants all over Mallorca where talented, young chefs have opened their own establishments in far-flung villages such as LLubi, Selva, Caimari, Orient, Llosesta and Mancor de la Vall as well as the Island's capital, Palma. They are the type of restaurant where you can really feel the passion and see and enjoy all the different styles and philosophies of each chef. They are not the faceless type of restaurant opened out of vanity by people who can't even boil an egg and have never even worked one day in our industry.
Restaurants and Chef’s that just follow the latest trends or whatever “fusion” happens to be in fashion that week, weather its “Peruvian-Japanese” or “Mediter-Asian” just bore me. The hardest thing for a chef to achieve is some semblance of originality and to create your own style. I firmly believe that chef-run and owned restaurants generally offer a more intimate eating-out experience than mainstream, “commercial” restaurants offering uninspiring menus that are supposed to appeal to everyone. I really admire and find inspiring those that have developed their own style while supporting local suppliers and showcasing all those wonderful, local ingredients that we have to offer here on the Island.
One of those wonderful ingredients, Llampuga, is just coming into season right now and you’ll find at the fish market.
"Llampuga" fish have a slightly oily texture that I would describe somewhere as a cross between sea bass and tuna. Be careful when cooking as it tends to dry out quickly when overcooked, and it is best served a little pink in the middle.
For me, the best way to cook llampuga is to pan-fry or grill large fillets and serve with a simple vinaigrette and a green salad or “a la Mallorquina” style.
LLAMPUGA A LA MALLORQUINA
Ingredients: Serves four
4 large fillets of llampuga (150g each)
12 new potatoes (boiled and sliced)
200g cleaned spinach
400ml virgin olive oil
100ml sherry vinegar
500g tomatoes (peeled and diced)
20g pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tbsp. Chopped parsley
In a small saucepan, heat and bring to the boil the sherry vinegar. Add the sultanas and remove from the heat. Leave to cool and soak-up the vinegar. Add the olive oil, pine nuts, diced tomatoes and season to taste.
Heat a little olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan; season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the fillets, skin side down and cook for 1-2 minutes until the skin becomes crisp and golden. Turn over and cook for a further minute.
Remove the fillets and place them in a hot oven to finish cooking. Add the sliced potatoes to pan and warm them through with the fresh spinach.
Place a mound of sliced potatoes & spinach in the middle of each plate, set the fillets on top skin side-up. Spoon over the sauce and serve.