Mariscada a la Marinera is a Spanish baked shellfish dish that is made by baking an assortment of locally available shell-fish. Since seafood is very popular all across Spain, this main dish preparation is quite well-accepted. It is hence a regular feature in restaurant menus as well as home-cooked family meals.
Ingredients and Preparation
Thoroughly cleaned small clams, mussels, chopped onion, tomato and minced garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, little flour, minced parsley and freshly ground pepper are required.
Cleaned shellfish are heated gently in a saucepan till they open. The liquid is reserved for later use, once the shellfish is transferred into an oven-proof dish. Chopped onion is fried in heated extra virgin olive oil. Tomatoes are added next and cooked. Minced garlic is then added and fried till raw flavour disappears. Flour is added and cooked for a while before adding minced fresh parsley, pepper and the reserved shellfish liquid. This sauce is brought to a boil as it slowly starts thickening. It is poured over the shellfish and baked in a pre-heated oven for about 8 minutes.
On an average, a serving of ~ 200 g of Mariscada a la Marinera would provide-
• 197 calories with 84 calories from fat
• Total Fat content of 9.5 g with 1.4 g saturated fat
• Cholesterol content of 45 mg
• Sodium content of 307 mg and potassium 560 mg
• Total carbohydrate content of 8.29 g with dietary fibre content of 0.7 g and 1.5 g sugars, the remainder being other carbohydrate components.
• Protein content of 18.82 g.
Following appropriate cooking methods like in the above recipe, shellfish can be a good source of protein,while being low in fat and cholesterol, making this a heart-healthy food option. The moderate amounts of omega 3 fats help lower triglyceride levels, improve blood circulation and thus reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. By boosting cognitive health, omega-3 fats also play a valuable role in preventing depression and Alzheimer’s.
Mussels and clams are rich in iron, calcium and magnesium. Among other nutrients present, zinc is another important mineral that promotes healthy immune system function and facilitates healing.
Adverse Effects of Shellfish
• Shellfish allergies are quite common. They may be exhibited through a variety of symptoms that could even be life-threatening in its most severe form.
• Use of shellfish demands proper cleaning, storage and handling techniques to ensure a good quality final product.
• It is important to use fresh shellfish, with shells shut tight. After repeated and thorough cleaning, it must be cooked at the earliest to avoid external contamination. If the shellfish has not been adequately cooked, one can easily develop food poisoning.
A good way of reducing the fat content of the Mariscada a la Marinera would be by the addition of some wine instead. This not only replaces the moisture but adds a unique flavour. Using wine or some sherry to replace some of the fat in the recipe, not only lightens up the dish but adds complimentary flavours. Also wine lends itself to both the processes of sauce making as well as baking the dish and pairs quite well with the shellfish.