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Gazpachuelo (Malaga)

Malaga gazpacho or “gazpachuelo”

I say goodbye until September with the “gazpachuelo”, one of the most typical dishes of Malaga cuisine, which comes from the humble cuisine of Andalusian fishermen; Its original ingredients were: a broth made from heads and other fish waste, a mayonnaise emulsified only with the yolk, lemon or vinegar, and some potatoes; For me, it is the best fish stew in Spanish popular cuisine, including the famous French bouillabaisse soup. This recipe can be made with any kind of fish (hake, grouper, monkfish, scorpionfish, etc.) and is open to any shellfish or fine shell. I usually make it with hake, monkfish, prawns, prawns or Norway lobsters. In this way, what started preparing to be a humble offal broth, fattened with a thick mayonnaise (emulsified only with the yolk), and with hard bread and leftover egg whites, has become a very expensive and sophisticated recipe, where even the potato is replaced by rice and I was able to carry all kinds of fish and seafood.

This recipe, with that of the pigeons, is the only thing that my mother kept from her Andalusian mother-in-law, who welcomed her so well when she went to see her on her honeymoon trip; Enough time to discover a discreet, sympathetic and more cultured woman than was normal for the time, with an open spirit, which surprised my mother; then war broke out and they never saw each other again. … Perhaps the only thing they shared was the love and interest in cooking, which was enough, and that my grandmother exercised in a masterly way in the preparation of typical Andalusian dishes (fried foods, gazpachos, pipirranas, anchovies in vinegar, etc.) , that they had nothing to envy to the Galician cuisine.

My two grandmothers were very unique characters; both had stormy love stories that, however, they resolved quite differently. My northern grandmother never married the man she loved due to family opposition and, although she later married, she locked herself in her daydreams, isolating herself from the real world to become a character in the deep Galicia of Valle Inclán or Torrente Ballester . On the contrary, the Andalusian decided not to surrender to the refusal of her parents to bless her marriage, with which she left home. She was a “young lady from the Puerto de Santa María”, than He had grown up in a conservative and “provincial” cultured environment; its The first boyfriend had been the brother of the playwright Muñoz Seca. My grandfather, whose circumstances of the meeting I do not know, was the opposite of an Andalusian young man; of low social position, his first job was as a station waiter; but his iron will and honesty helped him climb all the steps of the railway career, to finally become station chief, a job he loved. Well we can say, without fear of being wrong, that he was a tireless worker, with an indomitable spirit, with rigid ethical principles, and little predisposition to flattery; his honesty was well known for his firm stance on abuses of rail freight for the English-owned Alquife (Almería) mines, unmasking fraudulent payments, which traditionally no one had questioned.

Apart from their social origin, another factor that should not have gone unnoticed for the clear refusal to his marriage, was the justice character of my grandfather, little given to imposture. Six children were born from the marriage; they must not have suffered great hardships, since my grandmother was a magnificent housewife and my grandfather soon became station manager, but my grandmother must have missed her previous status; and, above all, her social relations with people of an intellectual and cultural level far superior to that of her husband.. Although it seems that they got along very well and loved each other, I do not rule out personal conflicts due to the great social chasm that existed between them. Already married, she spent most of her life in Almería, where they occupied the upper part of the station, a privileged site, which today is the Museum of Almería (photo below). It was undoubtedly an intelligent woman, of iron will, endowed with everything but, unfortunately, I could only shine in the domestic chores; from the birth of their first offspring it seems that it was proposed that their children be educated people, with university training, to which they were thoroughly employed; she herself contributed to her careful education; As for his three daughters, smart and pretty, they would marry “well-off and well-off people; for this, he led a sacrificial life, full of resignations, what that she never regretted, among other things because her children inherited the natural intelligence of their parents and soon shone with their own light; From very early on, they showed strong socialist ideals, undoubtedly due to the tremendous influence of their teacher from Granada, D. Fernando de los Rios, whom my grandmother affectionately called “D. Fernando de los Líos”, due to how much she had influenced the mentality of your children. But, in the end, the war broke out … and the longings and illusions of this woman were dissolved like sugar in the water …

Without knowing her, I have always felt much more identified with the grandmother of the Puerto de Santa María than with the matriarchy and somewhat “caciquil” character of the northern family; and also by the influence of my father who revered his mother.


homemade or commercial fish broth

one egg (the whole yolk and one or two tablespoons of white)

100 gr. hake per person

100 gr. monkfish per person

one potato or two people per person, according to the consumer’s taste

a handful of shrimp per person

a full cup of oil for mayonnaise

salt, vinegar or lemon.

(optional: any fish that can be boiled)


1. We put the broth in a low-bottom casserole and add the potatoes cut into slices and halved:

2. We prepare the mayonnaise with a yolk, and half of the white (originally it does not have anything white, only the yolk, but for fear of being cut I advise you to add a little white (half an egg). We put in the glass of the minipimer with the oil, the salt and a jet of vinegar and we place the arm touching the bottom, and we do not raise it until we see that the bottom has already thickened or thickened. This is the trick of the mayonnaise, if you raise your arm ahead of time to beat the top, the mayonnaise can be cut:

3. I cook the shrimp shells apart, mashing the heads well and when they are ready I strain them and turn over the other broth:

4. Aparto I add to the mayonnaise approximately a glass of broth, not very hot, to stir and beat little by little with the mayonnaise, and thus it will not cut:

5. This is the mixture of the mayonnaise with the broth, after mixing well:

6. Now I add the fish to the broth and in 5 minutes it will be cooked, and I can remove it.

7. In many recipes, mayonnaise is added directly to the broth of the saucepan, but since it is hot we have the risk of it being cut (really if it is cut nothing happens and it would be just as good but the aesthetics of the dish would not be the same ). There you see a presentation where I have put a tablespoon of mayonnaise in the very hot broth, and so you can see the effect of the cut mayonnaise.

8. I prefer to put the mayonnaise in a strainer and put it on the plate or platter where it is going to be served and with a spoon stir the mayonnaise in the strainer, also taking care to mix it with the broth; thus the risk is practically nil:

9. Here you have the finished Malaga gazpachuelo, served in a deep dish or on a plate: delicious, smooth, well beaten, with the potato and the fish inside the broth and the prawns sticking out:


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