Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brazilian-Style Fish Stew

Let me start by saying yum. And oh yeah. This was good. Stan, who as many of you know, is not at all a foodie, could not stop raving about this. For me, that’s about the highest praise there is.

This luscious stew is a take on the traditional Northeast Brazilian dish Moqueca Baiana. The recipe I used called for using fresh salmon. More traditional recipes seem to use primarily firm-fleshed white fish. I took the middle (cheaper) road and used fresh “fish chunks” from Whole Foods that included both salmon and various types of firm white fish. The choice was more economical (at least that day) and was delicious. I really couldn’t decide whether I liked the salmon or white fish better, so I’d advise you to just use whichever you like better.

Brazilian-Style Fish Stew
Adapted from Simply Recipes

The cloves from 1/2 a head of garlic, minced
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T. sweet paprika
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. course salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 lbs fish, cut into large bite-size pieces
2 medium onions, sliced
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced in rounds
1 large or two small bell peppers, sliced
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
14 oz. can coconut milk
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients until a thick paste forms. Add the fish and combine, making sure to thoroughly coat each piece. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Coat the bottom of a large covered skillet or Dutch oven with olive oil. Add a layer of onions, then a layer of peppers, then a layer of tomatoes. (Use about half of each ingredient.)

Place all of the fish pieces in an even layer across the vegetables.

Add another layer of onions, then peppers, the tomatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and half of the cilantro. Pour coconut milk over everything, then drizzle generously with olive oil.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes to an hour or until the vegetables are tender.

Serve over rice garnished with the remaining cilantro.

Serves 4.

Note: I used light coconut milk and it worked fine. Next time, I will try regular, full-fat coconut milk. Then I’ll have to decide whether I like it healthier or creamier!

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