Wednesday, March 16, 2016

moqueca (brazilian fish stew)

This knocked my socks off.  Best fish stew recipe ever.  I don't know what more I can say except to give it a try.  The smoked paprika and coconut milk was a combination I hadn't tried before and it was a winning combination with the fish and fresh vegetables.  I was looking forward to a bowl of fish/seafood stew over spring break at the coast but I'll have to order something else.  This soup can't be outdone.

moqueca (brazilian fish stew) (Simply Recipes)
4 tilapia loins from Costco (original recipe calls for 1 1/2 to 2 pounds firm white fish)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup green onion greens, chopped
1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, de-stemmed and chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a can of petite diced tomatoes)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
pinch red pepper flakes
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped with some set aside for garnish
1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk

Place fish pieces in a bowl, add the minced garlic and lime juice so that the pieces are well coated.  Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper.  Keep chilled while preparing the rest of the soup.
In a large covered pan, coat the bottom with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat on medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and cook a few minutes until softened.  Add the bell pepper, paprika and red pepper flakes.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Cook for a few minutes longer until the bell pepper begins to soften.  Stir in the tomatoes and green onions.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered.  Stir in the chopped cilantro.

Use a large spoon to remove about half of the vegetables.  Spread the remaining vegetables over the bottom of the pan to create a bed for the fish.  Arrange the fish pieces on the vegetables.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Then add back the removed vegetables, covering the fish.  Pour coconut milk over the fish and vegetables.

Bring soup to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serve with rice or with crusty bread.

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