Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)
- 1½ lbs fillets of firm white fish cut into large portions*
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 4 Tbs lime juice
- 1 medium yellow onion - sliced
- ¼ cup scallion greens - chopped
- ½ yellow and ½ red bell pepper - sliced
- 2 cups sliced tomatoes
- 1 large bunch cilantro - chopped
- 1 Tbs Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 14 oz coconut milk
- 1 Tbs palm oil
- olive oil
- black pepper
Place fish pieces in a bowl. Add 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.
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- ½ onion - chopped
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- 1 tsp salt
Bring a couple cups of water to a boil. Heat one Tbs olive oil in a saucepan on medium high heat. Add the chopped ½ onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the raw white rice and stir to coat completely with the oil, onions, and garlic. Add the boiling water. (Check the package for amount of water. If no amount given, add 1¾ cup of water for every cup of rice.) Stir in 1 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat until ready to serve with the soup.
Coat bottom of large covered pan with 2 Tbs of olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until softened. Add bell pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper (at least 1 tsp salt). Cook for a few minutes longer, until the bell pepper begins to soften. Stir in chopped tomatoes and scallion greens. Cook on simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir in chopped cilantro.
Use a large spoon to remove about half of the vegetables. Spread the remaining vegetables over the bottom of pan to create a bed for the fish. Arrange the fish pieces on the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add back the previously removed vegetables to cover the fish. Pour coconut milk and palm oil over the fish and vegetables.
Bring soup to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may need to add more salt (likely), lime juice, paprika, pepper, or chili flakes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice or with crusty bread.
*Note: Some firm white fish that may be used are halibut, swordfish, or cod