By Lindenberg Junior
One day during the winter here in California, I closed my eyes and transported myself to some of my favorite fishing places in Brazil for a great seafood. I imagined myself in Porto de Galinhas (60 km south from Recife, the city where I was born), a small beach town and traditional travel destination. Returning to my reality, I got the car keys and drove to a nearby market to buy the ingredients to make something that I was missing a lot: a “sinfonia maritima” (maritime symphony). This robust Brazilian seafood stew it’s a whole meal in a bowl. If you would like to make it a bit Portuguese, add halved hard-cooked eggs on the top when be ready to serve.
Ingredients (serves 6):
- tps unsalted butter
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (or cut into slices)
1 chayote, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, cut into ¾ inch, dice
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tsp mild paprika
½ tsp dry oregano
4 cups fish stock
12 red tiny new potatoes
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 lb firm white-fleshed fish fillets (such as halibut)
12 oz. cleaned squid (cut into rings)
1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb mussels
¼ cup sliced scallion greens
½ cup Italian parsley, minced
3 hard-cooked eggs, halved *optional
How to make:
1) In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers and cook for 4 min or until softened the onion wilts. Add the carrots, chayote, and zucchini; cover, cook over low heat for 5 min.
2) Stir in the tomatoes, and cook until reduced to a puree, about 7 min. Stir paprika and oregano. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and cook, uncovered, over low heat, until potatoes and chayote are tender, about 15 min.
3) While the liquid is cooking, place the fish, squid, shrimp, and mussels in separated bowls. Rub each with salt and pepper, and toss each 1 tbs of lemon juice.4) Add the fish and the mussels to the liquid and cook for 5 min, until opaque. Add the shrimp and the squid and cook until just tender, about 2 min. Do not overcook. Adjust the seasoning and add the scallions, parsley, and additional lemon juice, to taste.5) Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with a bit of parsley or hard-cooked egg (*Portuguese style) and serve.