Come join me and my English friend Anne for a drive down the north west coast of Tenerife to a little black sand beach where there are some fish restaurants where we have been going for many years.
Let's stop here along the way and take some photos of the picturesque coastline. In the foreground you can see fields of banana plantations with the occasional palm or drago tree.
You see here one of the many tunnels in the road to the south of the island.
Anne and I both love to visit garden centres so let's make a stop to browse around at this one near the base of the mountain.
This side of the island is greener than the south due to the prevailing north east trade winds which cause clouds to form on the north side of the Teide volcano, keeping the area cool and more spring-like.
After passing through the town of Icod, we take a turn and soon arrive at San Marcos Beach, where there is natural black volcanic sand.
We are heading for Casa Maria which years ago used to be one of the little chiringuitos or open air restaurants at the far side of the beach. Maria was a little lady who ran one of the simple beach restaurants which are so popular in Spain. We used to sit there in damp bathing suits with our feet in the sand and order local fish dinners or paella after an afternoon of swimming and sun bathing.
But now it has been relocated and modernized. The bamboo and grass roofs have been torn down and there is no sand underfoot in these new constructions.
Let's go inside. Can you smell the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen? There is a scent of garlic and fresh fish with lemon. Look at this one ready from the kitchen for someone's dinner.
We'll order one filleted with head and tail removed shall we. And how about some of those Canary salted wrinkled potatoes with green mojo sauce: Papas arrugadas con mojo verde. But first let's order a mixed salad as a starter with some red wine, local bread and ali oli garlic mayonnaise. Sounds good doesn't it! And now let's go to the kitchen to pick out our fish. Here are some the local fish: Vieja (parrotfish), Dorado (Mahi Mahi), Cherne (Sea Bass).
How about this one? I think it's a Vieja.
Anne's gone outside to pick out a table for us.
Here's the wine, salad, bread, and ali oli.
I hope you like the green mojo on your potatoes, as well as the fish. Here's your plate.
Now for dessert let's try their homemade lemon soufflé!
Too bad we have to leave now. I hope you enjoyed your lunch and will come back here again with us!
Click here for a slideshow of where we've been with some more images!
Goodbye for now and ¡Hasta la Vista!
And now the RECIPES:
PAPAS ARRUGADAS (Canary wrinkled, salt potatoes)
There are many ways to make these potatoes. Here is the manner which is the easiest and most used:
1. Cover the unpeeled potatoes with water (if it is seawater, even better). For every kilo (2.2 lbs) of potato,
add a bit more than a half pound of salt. It doesn't matter if we add even more as the potatoes will take only the salt
2. Put the pot on the stove and cover it well with a cloth or tin foil and place the lid on top of that.
Cook for twenty minutes to half an hour, until the potatoes are done.
3. Tip off the water and drain potatoes well.
4. Without removing the potatoes from the pot, pour a handful of salt over them, and place them
back on the stove, shaking the pot for a while until they are covered in salt.
5. Serve in their skins with two mojo sauces.
Source: translated from:
Cinquenta Recetas Fundamentales de la Cocina Canaria,
Cabildo de Tenerife
3 or 4 hot green peppers
1 small head garlic
1. Put the following ingredients into a mortar and pound together:
1 teasp cumin, the garlic and salt to taste.
2. Remove the seeds and veins from the peppers and add with some chopped parsley to the mortar.
Pound the contents thoroughly.
3. Finally, combine with some oil, vinegar to taste and water.
MOJO DE CILANTRO (CORIANDER SAUCE)
1 head garlic
1/2 hot red or green pepper
1 bunch fresh coriander
1. Lightly toast a teaspoon of cumin and pound in a mortar. Add the garlic, coriander, seeded pepper and a little salt, blending all these ingredients thoroughly.
2. Pour in half a cup of oil, vinegar to taste, a little cold water, and mix well.
MOJO COLORADO (RED MOJO SAUCE)
3 or 4 hot red peppers
1 small head garlic
1. Lightly toast 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and pound in a mortar.
2. Soften the peppers by soaking for a while in hot water. Remove the seeds and veins.
Add to the mortar and pound with the cumin.
3. Put the garlic and salt into the mortar and crush with the contents, adding a small glass of oil, vinegar to taste and a little cold water. Blend well and serve.