LAMPREY PIE ADAPTED FROM NOLA #lvii-1 DE LAMPREA EN PAN
For 4 persons
ARKive image ARK002986 - Brook lamprey
Photo from: beatleman...
2 live lampreys
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp freshly ground galingale
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
for the sauce:
2 slices of bread
¼ c vinegar
½ c red wine
Scald the live lampreys in hot water. Scrap the slime off with a knife. When opening the lampreys catch the blood and save. Take a knife and insert (literally introduce) it in the mouths. Pierce them. Do not cut them, only prick them. Remove the guts, bile and the central nerve through the head. Strain the blood out from the holes in the body. Save all of it. Mix the pepper, galingale and half the nutmeg with the blood and rub the lamprey with it. Put the rest of the nutmeg in the mouth and a place a clove inside of each hole that it has. Cut the fish in half.
PREHEAT OVN TO 400º F / 200º C
Make the pie crust into the shape of a circle and place the lamprey in it. Pour a little olive oil over each fish Top them with a layer of pie crust and pinch it together. Prick holes in the top to release the steam.
Lamprey Pie - A DISH TO SET BEFORE THE KING
Photo by: Carlos Cadilla
Bake it in oven for about 45 minutes until done.
Mix the bread, all the remaining blood, vinegar and wine. It should be slightly bitter. If too bitter add more wine. When the pie is baked place the sauce inside the pie if serving it hot but not if the pie is served cold. It is better when eaten cold.
Nola warns that lampreys are not good to eat until January. Lampreys travel from the ocean to freshwater to sprawn from early January to the end of April. The River Miño in Galicia is famous for them. On the second to the last Sunday in April a festival is held in the village of Arbo where 20,000 people attend and there is a lamprey cooking competition. Pontecesures and As Neves, also on the Mino River, are famous for their pies too. England also has a long tradition of lamprey pies. Queen Elizabeth II was given one on the day of her coronation in 1953. Reportedly Henry I of England died from eating "a surfeit of lampreys" on December 1, 1135, over 300 years before Nola’s warning!