Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fish Stew Portuguese Style

Being the daughter of first generation Portuguese immigrants fish has always played a large part in our diets. Last March (2009) my husband, son, and I went to Portugal to visit family and during those 2 weeks, my husband was on a mission to eat as much fish as possible. My mother made everything from grilled Fish stew needless to say both my husband and I were in heaven.

I have always loved fish, but my husband hates cooking it because of the lingering smell it leaves behind. Over the passed year or so I have convinced him that we could increase our fish intake if we did most of our fish outside in foil packets on the grill. He was all for it and we now have fish once if not twice a week.

Which brings me to how I ended up making Fish Stew. The last time we had a snow storm we were unable to grill outside so I had to come up with something else for dinner. Then it came to me...."why not make a fish stew for dinner?"

My mom's recipe was a hit, tasted really good and doesn't require a lot of work. The best thing about this recipe is that we had no lingering fish smell in the house. Last night was the second time I made it and it better than what I remembered. I was worried I wouldn't have enough left over to take a picture for my blog. The picture isn't the best and doesn't really do the dish justice, but at least it gives you an idea of how it should look. I hope you enjoy!

Yields about 4 main-course if served with some crunchy bead to soak up the broth.

1.5 pounds firm white fish, such as snapper, or grouper( I usually use grouper because its thinker and doesn't fall apart easy)
1 to 1.5 pound of squid cleaned and cut into big chunks.
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped onions (I put only one medium onion because my husband it's big on it)
1 medium chopped or thinning slice red bell pepper
2 mild green chilies , sliced lengthwise in half (leave seeds if you want it to be a little more spicy)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 cups chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes (or you can use 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes)
1 cup water
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
red pepper flakes to taste (we like it to have a little spicy kick, but this can be omitted)
fresh chopped parsley (I actually don't chop it up just toss some in)


Cut the fish and your squid into 3-inch pieces. and set aside in the refrigerator.

Make a roux by combining the oil and flour in a large cast-iron or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Stir slowly with a wooden spoon for about 15 to 20 minutes,roux will become dark brown.

Add the celery, onions, bell peppers, and chilies. Cook, stirring often, for 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the bay leaves and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, water.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour, or until a thin oil film appears on the surface.

Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking.

Increase the heat to medium, add the broth, salt,ground pepper, red pepper flakes, and cayenne and cook for about 15 minutes.

Lay the ONLY the fish in the mixture and let cook for about 5-8 minutes. Do NOT stir until squid is added to avoid fish from breaking.

After that add squid (the squid will cook much faster than the white fish) and allow to cook another 3-5 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork and squid as taken on a dark pink to purple color.

During the last 2 minutes of cooking time, and parsley.

Remove the bay leaves. Serve hot with your favorite bread.

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