Brazilian fish stew (Moqueca de peixe)
( SERVES 6 )
A spicy fish stew that originates from Brazil.
- The annatto seeds are for colour but not essential. To make annatto oil, combine the seeds and oil in a small saucepan.
- Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until the oil turns orange. Remove from the heat, strain out the seeds (and discard), and leave the oil to cool. (This can be done ahead.)
- Combine the garlic, lime juice and salt in a large bowl. Cut the fish into large chunks.
- Add to the bowl, and rub the fish with the garlic-lime mixture. Leave to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a large frying pan or a cast-iron pan (Le Creuset), heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
- Sauté the diced onion and diced capsicum for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Add the tomatoes (seeded and diced) and Tabasco sauce, then cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes soften and begin to give up their juice.
- Place the fish in a single layer on top of the mixture in the pan. you can use any other firm white fish.
- Sprinkle over the chopped spring onions and coriander, then pour on the annatto oil and coconut milk. Reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes, gently shaking it from time to time to ensure the fish doesn’t stick, and carefully stirring the liquids around the fish.
- Taste, then adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, black pepper, lime juice or Tabasco sauce if needed.