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Recipe #345: Caribbean Fish Stew

Posted Feb 09 2013 5:35pm

Served this dish for lunch, twice -- first to a friend during the week and then to two friends earlier today. In addition to the soup, I also fed the latter friends Jamaican Jerk Chicken, another one of my Paleo Fitness recipes, before heading over with them to a martial arts store to buy kung fu shoes. (We are all students from the same martial arts school.) It's been a day of martial arts -- t'ai chi for 1 1/2 hours, kung fu for an hour, a quick 30-minute weightlifting session, and then, finally martial arts shopping. :)


Caribbean Fish Stew

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil (1 Tbsp. for sautéing fish and 1 Tbsp. for sautéing vegetables)
1 lb. cod fillets, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces (or use other firm, non-flaky white fish like monkfish, mahi mahi, haddock, halibut, etc.)
1/2 c. shallots, peeled and finely minced (about 2 large shallots)
2 Tbsp. garlic, peeled and finely minced (about 4 large cloves)
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced (a 2" piece)
1/2 c. celery
1 large fresh bay leaf
6 c. water
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
3 c. vine-ripened tomatoes, diced (about 7 large tomatoes)
6 Tbsp. tomato paste (omit if Paleo)
1 Tbsp. Scotch Bonnet pepper, diced (about 1 small Scotch Bonnet pepper)
1 c. red bell pepper (about 3/4 large pepper)
1 c. green bell pepper (about 3/4 large pepper)
1 c. okra, sliced crosswise into 1/4" rounds
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. saffron threads
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste (omit if Paleo)
1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, finely minced

Directions: In a large (12-13") sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil on high heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to medium high, then add cod fillet pieces, and sauté 5 minutes per side, or until crisp and golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil on high heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to low, then add shallots, garlic, ginger, celery, and bay leaf, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Deglaze with 1/4 c. water, scrape off fond (brown bits on the bottom of the pan), then add the remaining water and coconut milk and bring to a rolling boil, covering with a lid to boil faster. Uncover lid, reduce to medium-low heat, then stir in tomatoes and tomato paste (if using), and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add sautéed cod fillet pieces, Scotch Bonnet pepper, red and red bell peppers, okra, ground allspice, saffron, ground black pepper, salt, and thyme leaves. Then cover again, and simmer for 5-7 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender but still retain their color. Remove from heat, uncover, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf, add lime juice, stir, adjust seasonings to your liking, garnish with fresh cilantro, and serve immediately, with a side of Swoon-Worthy Sweet Potatoes , if desired.

Yield: About 3 qts. (12 c.), or 6 servings (of 2 c. per person).

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