Gambas Pil Pil
I suspect Gambas Pil Pil (Shrimps in garlic and chili pepper sauce) is a specialty of the coast. I like to think that it is of Roman origin.
I remember that it used to be a cheap starter served in all restaurants, whether on the menu or not. Always delicious. It is still available everywhere but now it usually costs the same as many main dishes. Furthermore its quality varies a lot across restaurants.
We've eaten Gambas Pil Pil at least a hundred times. Our experience is that the best ones are consistently served in:
Portofino - Paseo Maritimo Rey de España,15, Fuengirola (Now closed)
Fairuz - Las Islas. On the hills of Torreblanca (Closed for winter)
Casa Alberto, A Chiringito near the Fuengirola port.
We buy them fresh from Mercado Municipal de Los Boliches ( picture on the left ) and always prepare at home.
In Fuengirola it is possible to get Lenguados really fresh; captured the previous night from the Alborán sea. You may buy them cleaned and peeled, directly to the frying pan.
I fry them on both sides in butter with just a little white pepper and salt. Nothing else.
Fried, fresh Lenguados are probably the best tasting fish I have ever eaten.
Sopa de mariscos
My mother said that you first recognize an excellent kitchen from how good their soup is.
Sopa de mariscos (seafood soup) comes in a number of varieties in Fuengirolan restaurants. The one pictured here is thick, strong and exceptionally good. Served in Portofino on the Paseo Maritimo (Now regretfully closed)
Supermarket stuff. Cooked shrimps are inexpensive and always available. It seems that they are usually imported from South America. Just a little warming in a frying pan or microwave.
Liquefied salad. We always prepare Gazpacho at home. I immerse the tomatoes, cucumber and red sweet pepper in boiling water for 15 seconds or so. Then Gazpacho stays fresh in the fridge for at least two days.
I put the vegetables in a 2 litre jug, add onion rings, 1/2 clove of garlic, one tablespoonful of vinegar and one tespoonful of salt, ground black pepper, 1/2 dl olive oil and maybe 1 - 2 dl water.
I then immerse a blender in the mix and run for a minute or two. After chilling in a fridge it is ready for serving. This homemade Gazpacho is thick and a bit coarse.
The critical ingredients are vinegar and garlic. Half a clove of garlic and a tablespoonful of vinegar are enough. Not to be exceeded.
For us tapas is almost anything light which we eat as main course at luchtime.
Quite often it is a chunk of Tortilla Espanola / Tortilla de patatas. But it may also untypically be a salad. The pic above shows one of our favourites: Ensalada Medeterránea.
This one is served in Café d'Abuela at the corner of C/Echegaray and C/San Augustin, Málaga, quite close to the Picasso-museum.
A simple, well-made dish with a peculiar horseradish-sauce.