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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spicy Fish and Seafood Stew

This is a dish that I’ve been wanting to try for a while now, mainly because I think it is one of those dishes that you must try when you’re visiting a seaside resort or visiting a country with a strong fish cooking tradition. You’ll find a lot of variations of this type of dish on-line, be it Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or Greek, each one of them with its specific flavors and touches. 

For what I did, I mixed a little bit of the Italian touch with the Portuguese ones, using fresh fish and seafood:
400 grams of fish fillets (dorado, white cod and brill), 
150 grams of calamari rings, 
12 mussels
2 extra large whole shrimps (they had about 170 grams together), 
1 medium red onion diced, 
1 fennel thinly sliced and leaves reserved for garnishing, 
3 garlic cloves, 
500 grams of tomato passata, 
300 grams of fresh tomato juice, 
1 chilli, 
5 anchovies fillets, 
about 2 tbs of fresh thyme leaves, 
2-3 tbs of fresh parsley, 
2 bay leaves, 
some lemongrass (optional), 
1 and a half tbs of smoked hot paprika, 
salt, pepper, olive oil.

Just writing these ingredients makes me hungry, everything is so delicious in its own way and together they just create an explosive and amazing tasting dish.

Start of by heating up a couple tbs of olive oil in a heavy base, tall if possible pan, and put in the anchovies, fennel, onion, garlic and chilli. Cook this on high heat for about 5 minutes stirring from time to time. After this, add the tomato passata and juice, the herbs except the parsley, salt, pepper, lemongrass and smoked paprika, turn the heat to a low and simmer for around 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prepare your fish: cut the fillets into equal parts (both length and thickness), the rings (give them a good wash) and clean the mussels (rip their beards by pulling them away all the way from the base of the mollusk and remove any barnacles that you may have on the mussel shell). If you buy the shrimp whole, you need to clean it by making an incision on its back, from where the tail begins all the way down and remove the intestines. 

After 30 minutes, add the fish and seafood, cover them with the tomato mix and cook them for 3-4 minutes, then add the chopped parsley. Be careful when you plate your dish not to flake the fillets too much. 

There you have it, a lovely, rich, smooth and spicy fish stew guaranteed to make your day, your lunch, dinner, whatever you want it, it’s just bloody delicious.    

Mr. G.

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