December starts on a Friday this year, and Friday used to mean fish, so let’s stick with tradition. It always amazes me how many people haven’t tasted eel, which is traditional in my part of Italy, but let’s not be like cooking blogs, so… recipe first. Spit-roasted Eel Ingredients (serves 4 people) 800 grams of […]
December starts on a Friday this year, and Friday used to mean fish, so let’s stick with tradition. It always amazes me how many people haven’t tasted eel, which is traditional in my part of Italy, but let’s not be like cooking blogs, so… recipe first.
Ingredients (serves 4 people)
- 800 grams of eel
- 200 grams of finely grated bread mixed with crumbs
- 2 tablespoons of white flour
- 2 glasses of white wine (never cook with anything you wouldn’t drink: the sommelier recommends a glass of Soave wine)
- a bunch of bay leaves
- a bunch of sage leaves
- ground cinnamon
- olive oil
You’ll also need:
- either an novel or an open flame (the fireplace is fine, if you don’t mind having to clean it afterwards)
Chop the eel to pieces 4-6 cm long, sprinkle them with salt and wrap them alternatively one bay leaf or one sage leaf around each piece (don’t worry if you won’t be able to wrap all the eel in it: the flavour will spread anyway). You’ll need toothpicks to fix the leaves in place, and you’ll have to be careful not to set them on fire later on.
Skewer the pieces and roast them on the flame (if you want to live a dangerous life and you have a traditional kitchen that kicks some serious asses). If you’re a normal person, however, you might want to pre-heat the oven and suspend the skewer onto a baking pan. You’ll have to open the oven multiple times and turn the skewer. Each time you do that, water the eel with a tipple of white wine. When you see the eel is turning golden-brownish and crispy, it means it’s almost done: brush the pieces with oil, sprinkle them with the flour and thoroughly cover each pieces with grated bread and crumbs to create a crust. Cook a few more minutes.
When all is said and done, place the pieces on a serving platter and sprinkle them with the ground cinnamon.
About the wine
Soave is a dry white wine produced in the northeast, around Verona. Its name seems to come from the Svevians (Suaves), who came down to Italy led by their king Alboino around 568 AD and renamed the area. Wine was already produced in the zone, though: Cassiodoro writes about it and says its colour is so pure that you’d think it’s made from fleur-de-lis(es).
As I was saying, eels are a typical dish around my area, but they’re not so common in other parts of Italy. They were highly trendy in the Middle Ages, and if you don’t believe me, you need to follow the Surprised Eel Historian on Xitter and/or in the Blue Place.