Situated on the edge of the Sierra Nevada and resting on a mountainous slope, Granada Spain’s charming cobblestone streets contain a varied mix of Spanish tapas joints, cafes, and Arab tea and smoke shops. Granada’s original cuisine reflects the diversity of Andalusia’s past and present. On one corner you can have a saffron-infused seafood paella complete with mussels, clams, langoustines, and cod, and on the next corner have a Moroccan tagine packed with slow-cook chicken and lemon.
Remojon Granadino speaks of this beautiful region’s culinary bounty and close proximity to the sea. I tried this dish on my first, and to date, only visit to Spain. In the din and body-elbowing crowd of a tapas joint, after ordering our drinks and a few tapas, this tapa was brought out as a free dish for my group of friends to try. Initially I thought of how odd this tapa looked and questioned what it was I was about to eat. But on the first bite the surprising mix of bright orange, briny olives, tender salted cod, and base nourishment of egg won me over and made me think twice about the assumptions I make about what might taste good in a dish.
I am a firm believer that you cannot just take a dish from one region and expect to make it the same way in another region and obtain similar results. Because of where I live in California the cod we get is not that fresh, so I used rockfish instead. I also added a hint of smoky paprika and a slight lift of lemon juice to up the flavors and give the dish a smoky, brighter edge. If you can get fresh cod, that is the traditional fish to use in Remojon Granadino, but a firm white fish from any region is a solid substitute. Combine the ingredients just before serving, with only an hour or less before you or your guests will enjoy it—it will not hold well because of the fish, egg, and acidity of the orange.
2 Navel oranges, de-segmented
¼ cup black olives, sliced
½ pound Rockfish or Cod
½ yellow onion, sautéed slowly in extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon Smoky paprika
2 eggs, medium-boiled, cut in half and then in slices
1. In a medium-size fry pan, place the rockfish or cod in ¼ cup of olive oil. As the fish cooks, season it with salt on the open side.
2. Turn the flame on medium-low, and slowly poach the fish in the oil until it is just done (be careful to not overcook the fish). Be sure to flip it over halfway through the process so that it cooks evenly on both sides. Once the fish is cooked, set it in the refrigerator to cool.
3. Place all of the other ingredients in a nonreactive dish or bowl.
4. Once the rockfish is cool, gently break it into large pieces and place the pieces into the bowl or dish. Gently mix the ingredients, but not too much because the fish and egg will break down if over mixed.
5. Check the dish for salt and acidity. If necessary, squeeze some lemon juice into the mixture or add more salt.
6. Place the Remojon into the refrigerator to cool for about 20 minutes.
7. Spoon Remojon onto small plates (include the juicy olive oil), garnish with a small amount of chopped fennel frond or parsley, and serve.