A Casual Ibiza
While the clientele of the famed Illetes beach café Juan y Andreas has changed since it opened in 1972, its character has remained the same. Once a humble beach bar where Andrea prepared meals from what her husband, Juan, caught at sea, the restaurant now offers a port for posh yachters. Despite this refinement, you’ll be seated on plastic beach chairs by a barefoot waiter, and dine under billowing white umbrellas.
Ibizan cuisine skews Mediterranean with – no surprise – an abundance of seafood. Juan y Andrea’s menu celebrates this without compromise, from salt-crusted fish to paella. We were truly inspired by the restraint and simplicity of their dishes and offer our Cooling Your Jets rendition. To get the full experience, we suggest taking a cue from the restaurant’s no-frills vibe and prepare the meal barefoot.
We’d be shocked it you find any canned anchovies in Ibiza. You will, however, find the fresh variety as a cured appetizer on many restaurant tables.
Total cook/prep time: 6 hours
If you’ve never cleaned and prepared fresh anchovies, it might be best to ask your local fish monger to tackle it. If you’re feeling adventurous, however, start by rinsing the fish with cold water. Next, cut off the heads and make an incision down the belly. Lift out all the bones and internal organs and cut off the tail.
Place the filets skin side down in a glass dish. They should be close together and you can layer them, if needed.
Pour lemon juice and vinegar over the filets, making sure each one is covered. Refrigerate for six hours. This will cure (cook) the fish.
Remove from liquid, rinse each filet and pat dry. Lay the fish out on a plate and drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on each filet and then sprinkle with a pinch of chili flakes, parsley and salt. Layer until all the anchovies are finished and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Bring to room temperature to serve.
Juan y Andrea’s house salad pairs prawns with mango, avocado and spicy dressing. We hope our version brings back Ibiza memories, especially if you eat it with your toes in the sand.
Cook/prep time: 20 minutes
Slice avocado and rinse arugula. Arrange a handful of arugula on the bottom of each plate, top with slices of avocado and 3 jumbo shrimp. Sprinkle with salt.
For the dressing, puree the mango in a food processor on high speed. Add the jalapeno, lime juice and zest, vinegar and garlic and purée until blended. Stir in mint and basil. Drizzle over salad and serve.
Juan y Andrea is known for their salt-crusted fish. It may look complex, but this method of cooking is quite simple and will ensure the fish cooks evenly, remains moist and is always perfectly seasoned.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Rinse sea bass under cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity with pepper and stuff with lemon wedges.
In a bowl, mix together the salt and flour. Stir in the warm water until it forms a stiff paste. Add more water if necessary. The paste should resemble wet sand.
Place the bass in an oiled baking pan. Coat the entire bass (top and bottom) with the salt mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes. Crack the coating with a sharp knife and remove the crust.
Serve the bass with lemon wedges.
For vegetables: Place lightly oiled and seasoned vegetables on a hot grill pan or charcoal grill. Cook until tender, flipping often to avoid burning. Serve at room temperature alongside bass.
Juan y Andrea’s most popular dessert proves that even the beautiful beachgoers of Ibiza love their chocolate.
Serves 8 to 10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes + 1 hour for cooling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the crust, grind graham crackers in a food processor until super fine. Mix with melted butter and sugar and press into the bottom of a 9-inch round fluted tart pan. Bake for about 10 minutes or until firm. Allow to cook for 20 minutes.
Bring cream to boil and remove from heat immediately. Add chopped chocolate and stir until melted. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla and salt. Slowly add the chocolate mixture to the eggs, stirring constantly. The chocolate mixture is warm and if added too quickly it will scramble the eggs.
Pour filling into cooled crust and bake until filling is set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack for about an hour