Caldero Murciano

  • 1 lb. mullet, whole
  • 2 lbs. other mixed whole hearty fish
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 dried pimientos, if available (otherwise, regular pimientos)
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1-1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 8 cups water
  • Saffron, salt and pepper
  • 1 small, cooked potato

Cut heads off fish and reserve. Cut fish bodies into thick rounds and sprinkle with salt. Set aside. Heat half of the oil in a heavy pot( traditionally iron). Fry the dried pimientos. Remove and put aside.

Add the fish heads to the same pot. Fry and remove. Throw the tomatoes, peeled and chopped, into the same pot. Fry 5 minutes. Add 8 cups water. In a mortar, crush the pimientos, one head of garlic, and 3 or 4 saffron filaments.

Add to pot and cook 5 minutes. Add the fish bodies and cook until done. Remove fish and set aside, keeping warm. Set aside 1 cup of the fish stock. Season the rest of the stock with salt and pepper and add the rice, letting cook over low flame for 20 minutes.

In the mortar, crush another head of garlic and mix with the cup of reserved fish stock. This will be used as a sauce for the fish upon serving. Crush the third head of garlic with the cooked potato; combine with the egg yolk and rest of oil. This sauce is for the rice. Serve the fish and rice separately with their respective sauces.