Muqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)
This is one of my favorite dishes! I first tasted it at Nashoba Brook Café in West Concord, and decided I had to make it at home! My version is adapted from Saveur magazine and I think it’s the best! You can make it with scallops, swordfish, and mix it up with shrimp, but it’s traditionally made with firm white fish like cod, catfish, or halibut. You can spice it up with more cayenne, and you can use light or regular coconut milk. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, use canned. You can also use fresh, raw shrimp but I always have large frozen shrimp, wild caught, on hand which speeds things up. And organic veggies of course!
- 1 ½ lb. cod or any firm white fish, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 8 oz large shrimp, cooked, fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large red pepper (orange or yellow)
- 1 T. sweet paprika (not smoked)
- 4 plum tomatoes (or small tomatoes), chopped
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 can coconut milk, 14 oz
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup chopped Thai basil (if you can’t find Thai basil, use regular basil)
- Pinch cayenne pepper
Toss the cod, shrimp, lime juice and 4 cloves of garlic in a bowl; set aside.
Heat olive oil in large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion, pepper, and cook until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add paprika and tomatoes, and stock; cook until broken down, about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and cayenne pepper. Add fish and shrimp and cook through about 7 minutes. Add cilantro and Thai basil; season with salt and pepper.
Serve over rice. (I use brown rice, but traditionally, white rice is used.)