Skate with Pazo Cilleiro
Discover one of the most traditional and popular dishes of Rías Baixas
For several weeks, at the peak of spring and therefore of the skate fishing season, barkeepers in Rías Baixas build their deltoid muscles like professional tennis players. The reason? It’ s easy: they spend hours cleaning hundreds, thousands of skates. With them, they prepare the star dish of next summer’s tables and outdoor terraces: skate caldeirada.
Caldeirada is unmistakable in its simplicity, flavour and yumminess. Originally a seafaring dish, it is held in high esteem by the local population. It never fails in home celebrations and, with the growth of tourism, this familiar tradition eventually made its way to restaurants and furanchos (local taverns that sell homemade wine).
It is easy to cook and should always feature quality fish caught in the Atlantic Ocean: a delicious, fresh skate, with white, tender, firm, compact and cartilaginous flesh. It is a highly prized fish in the Galician coast, but it is surprisingly unknown and undervalued in other seaside regions.
Simple steps and a delicious dish
After cooking the potatoes and chopped onions in a large pan with plenty of water, add the skate wings (the pieces on each side of the fish). Cook for about five minutes and remove the ingredients from the pot.
In a frying pan, fry the garlic in extra virgin olive oil and add a spoonful of unto (pork lard); when the garlic cloves are golden brown, remove the frying pan from the heat. Once the contents are cool, add a spoonful of pimentón de la Vera (paprika), stirring so that it dissolves in the olive oil. Serve the main ingredients on a plate and pour the garlic and paprika sauce over them. The dish is ready.
Why does Pazo Cilleiro go so well with the skate caldeirada?
The acidity, extreme freshness and balanced structure of our Albariño wine is perfect with the oily texture of the skate. A sip of Pazo Cilleiro cleanses the palate, soothes the intensity of the garlic and paprika sauce and invites you to take one more mouthful of the dish.
But there’s more: a complete affinity which is the result of proximity. Many of our small plots in the Salnés valley command a view of the ocean’s horizon, of the same Atlantic waters that generously provide us with fish.
The fruits of the land and the sea come together on the plate and there is no better place to discover and be passionate about them than in the small villages dotting our shores: from Sanxenxo and Portonovo to Cambados, O Grove and Vilagarcía de Arousa, the most genuine restaurants serve their own renditions of a succulent dish that is utterly delicious with Pazo Cilleiro.