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a stew for you


Brazilian Fish and Shellfish Stew

Recipe excerpt from Perfect Pairings

by Evan Goldstein, recipes by Joyce Goldstein

This recipe combines two Brazilian fish and shellfish classics: moqueca de peixe, sautéed fish with coconut, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, coriander, cayenne and mariscada, a Brazilian “bouillabaisse” made with fish and shellfish, seasoned with coriander, onion, tomatoes, garlic, saffron and cayenne. The sweet coconut cream offsets the tartness of tomatoes and lemon, and helps to balance the bitter flavors of hot peppers, green peppers, saffron, coriander and garlic. Serve with simple white rice as this dish is sufficiently complex in taste.
Serves 4

Fish Stock:
6 pounds fish frames, with heads and tail, gills removed, from mild fish like snapper, rockfish, halibut and sea bass
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 quarts water, or to cover
3 cups dry white wine
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
5 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
4 strips lemon zest
5 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
10 peppercorns
4 whole coriander seeds
3 whole allspice berries
1 large bay leaf
1 small piece of ginger root, peeled
1 dried red pepper pod

Rinse the fish bones well. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over moderate heat. Add the bones and sauté, stirring often, until the bones release off a little liquid, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and heat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, skimming the scum from the surface often. Strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer. Let cool to room temperature in an ice bath, then refrigerate or freeze.
For shellfish stock: Use the shells from 3 pounds of prawns. Simmer 1 hour, then strain and reduce by half.

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 or 3 jalapenos or other hot pepper, minced fine
6 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp saffron filaments, steeped in 1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes, chopped, or 3 fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup canned coconut cream (Coco Lopez)
6 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
Salt and pepper
4 cups fish stock
1 1/2 lbs of fish such as angler, snapper, rock cod or flounder, cut into 2 inch pieces
16 manila clams, scrubbed
16 mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
16 shrimp, peeled and deveined
16 scallops, muscles removed
2 Tbsp toasted coconut and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional garnish

Melt butter in a wide deep pot. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the peppers, jalapenos, garlic and coriander, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the saffron infusion, coconut cream, stock, and tomatoes, and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the lemon or lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust sweet and sour balance by adding a bit more coconut cream or lemon juice. Add the clams and simmer, covered, for 2 minutes. Add the mussels and shrimp and simmer a few minutes. Add the scallops for the last 2 minutes. Simmer until the clams and mussels open. Serve the stew in bowls over rice and garnish with chopped cilantro and coconut.

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