May 6th, 2011
A friend of mine returned from Spain yesterday, with a present of angula (elvers) and chorizo. Elvers are baby eels, which are born in the sea and then swim up rivers in search of their juvenile and adult habitats.
Traditionally, in this country, elvers are caught as they swim up river at night and the fishermen fry them up in bacon fat, on the riverbank, before adding beaten egg to make an omelette, eaten with the previously fried bacon.
I liked the idea of making an elver omelette with the spicy chorizo.
Angula con chorizo omelette recipe:
a little extra virgin olive oil
a sprinkle of crushed chilli (optional)
3 or 4 eggs (beaten)
half a chorizo ring (chopped)
2 handfuls of elvers
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
Pour a little olive oil into an omelette pan and sprinkle in some crushed chilli. Heat the oil and cook the chorizo for a couple of minutes until it releases some fat. Stir in a couple of handfuls of elvers and coat them with the orange fat that has come out of the chorizo (the orange colour is due to the paprika in chorizo). Cook for a few minutes before pouring in the beaten egg. When the omelette is almost cooked, use a spatula to fold it in half and serve with some good sour dough bread and butter (or to be Spanish, replace the butter with olive oil).
There was once a huge eel industry in Britain, particularly in the Severn River. Eels were once the food of the poor, like oysters, but these days Severn elvers cost a small fortune and are generally exported to the Far East. I believe they are farmed in Spain.