Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

It seems all cultures that had access to the bounty of the oceans have some sort of seafood soup or stew. The French have bouillabaisse, Italians have Cioppino which originated in Genoa but is very much a San Francisco staple. New Orleans has its Jambalaya, New England has its chowder just to name a few but in the northern Brazilian state of Bahia, Moqueca (pronounced: ‘moo kay ka’) with a myriad of variations is their delicious contribution to the culinary world. My version features cod, prawns and sockeye salmon all wild caught and of American origin. You can use any firm flesh fish like catfish, shark, halibut etc or just shrimp if you like. One essential to the dish is dende oil (red palm oil) both for color and flavor. I found mine at Trader Joe’s but it can also be found in markets that cater to South American or African customers. This dish is Paleo, Gluten-Free and truly scrumptious!

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Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

Yield: 6-8 servings

1 lb. cod
1 lb. sockeye salmon
½ lb. prawns
1 yellow bell pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 green or yellow bell pepper diced
1 large yellow onion diced
2 small vine ripened tomatoes diced
1-2 serrano chilies finely chopped
2-14 oz. cans coconut milk (creamy)
6 garlic cloves minced
Juice and zest of 4 limes
1 bunch cilantro chopped
2 tablespoons red palm oil (dende)
1 tablespoon sea salt or to taste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Remove pin bones and any skin from fish and cut into large chunks. Transfer to a container, add lime juice, zest and place in fridge. Peel and devein shrimp leaving the tails on. In a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté onions, all peppers and garlic in red palm oil. Remove half of this and set aside. Place fish chunks mixture on top of peppers and cover with remaining pepper/onion mixture. Add cilantro, coconut milk, salt, fish sauce, black pepper and cook about 15 minutes under medium heat or just till largest fish chunk reaches 145 degree. Add shrimp and cook for 1 minute more. Serve.
Serving suggestion: serve over rice or in a bowl with a crisp white wine.

©2015 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com

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