I first enjoyed this sumptuous stew in that coastal region of north west Spain.
Lobster can be prepared well, with patience, and here you can use it with either mussles or clams.
1 cooked lobster
24 fresh mussels or clams
30 mils of brandy
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
300 mils of fish stock
2 tablespoons of ground almonds
2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh parsley
Salt and black pepper
1 large monkfish tail
225 grams of squid rings
1 tablespoon of plain flour
6 tablespoons of olive oil
12 large raw prawns
450 grams of ripe tomatoes
2 large mild onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Using a large knife, cut the lobster in half lengthways. Remove the dark intestine that runs down the length of the tail and crack the claws, using a hammer. Scrub the mussels, discarding any that are damaged or open ones that do not close when tapped with a knife. Cut the monkfish fillets away from the central cartilage and cut each fillet into three.
Toss the monkfish and squid in seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the monkfish and squid and fry quickly. Remove from the pan. Fry the prawns on both sides, then remove from the pan. Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Peel away the skins and chop roughly. Add the onions and two thirds of the garlic to the frying pan and fry for three minutes. Add the brandy and light with a taper. When the flames die down, add the tomatoes, bay leaves, paprika, chilli and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for five minutes.
Add the mussels or clams, cook and cover for three to four minutes, until the shells have opened. Remove the mussels or clams from the sauce and discard any that remain closed. Arrange all the fish, including the lobster, in a large flameproof serving dish. Blend the ground almonds to a paste with the remaining garlic and parsley and stir into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the fish and lobster and cook gently for about five minutes until hot. Serve immediately with a fresh green salad and warm bread.