Suquet is the diminutive form of the suc meaning ‘juice, in Catalan. This means that this amazingly tasty and flavored dish is basically a juicy fish stew. Various cooks use different fish and shellfish sorts, as well as the amount of liquid, so much so that some even call it a soup. Saffron and almonds are the part of the mix everyone agrees on.
12 manila, small littleneck or cherrystone clams
1 tablespoon of coarse salt
Half a cup of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole
8 blanched almonds
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon of water
1 finely chopped yellow onion
1 halved crosswise tomato, grated on large holes of a handheld grater with skin discarded
Pinch of saffron threads
6 cups of fish stock
2 pounds of monkfish fillet cut into small pieces
1 pound of hake fillet cut into small pieces
1 pound squid cleaned and cut into thin rings
6 large shrimp in the shell with heads intact
12 peeled medium shrimp
1/2 pound of mussels scrubbed and debearded
1/2 cup of cava or sparkling white wine
Scrub the clams under cold water, discard any that will not close. Combine the clams, coarse salt, and water in a larger bowl. Stand between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
In a deep cazuela, heat olive oil on high heat. Add garlic and fry it, often stirring often for about 1 minute (until golden). Transfer the garlic to a mortar with a slotted spoon. Save the oil.
Add almonds, parsley, and water to the mortar and pound with a pestle to make a paste.
Bring the cazuela to a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add tomato and saffron, mix it well and cook for 5 more minutes. Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan decreasing the heat to maintain a soft simmer.
Add monkfish, hake, and large and medium shrimp to the cazuela. Mix well with onion and tomato. Stir in 1 cup of hot stock and cook for 30 minutes. Add remaining stock, 1 cup at a time every 5 minutes.
Add salt to taste. Drain clams and add them to the cazuela with the mussels. Discard any that fail to close. Add garlic mixture and cook for 5 additional minutes, until both the clams and mussels open.
Again, for the last time, discard any that failed to open. Serve immediately after cooking. Bon appetite!