Otherwise known as Brazilian fish stew, consisting of mostly slurpy, rich, fresh-tasting stuff. Oh, you wanted real ingredients? Fresh white fish couples with coconut milk, cilantro, garlic, bell peppers and (my addition) zucchini in this amazing stew. Yeah, there’s the zucchini again. I can’t seem to stop myself from adding zucchini to nearly every dish. It’s a disorder, I tell you!

But it works here, luckily. I got this recipe from one of the first cooking blogs I started reading, Simply Recipes. Great blog, great recipes. The author, Elise, posted this Moqueca recipe a while ago and I fell in love with it, despite despising (for real) onions and bell peppers at the time. I have since gotten over my fear of both. This is big, for those who know me. I actually took a bite of a RAW red bell pepper the other day and…. and…. found that it tasted…. it tasted… good. How weird.

Anyway! Great recipe, with a few changes to fit my need to shove a few more vegetables into every dish. Enjoy!

Moqueca
minimally adapted from Simply Recipes
serves 4

1 1/2 to 2 lbs of fillets of firm white fish such as halibut, swordfish, or cod (I’ve also used fresh tilapia with success), rinsed, bones removed if needed, cut into large portions
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped or sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-stemmed, chopped (or sliced)
2 small-medium zucchini, halved and sliced
2 cups chopped (or sliced) tomatoes
1/4 cup green onion greens (scallions), chopped
1 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika (I used regular because that’s all I had)
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
hot rice

In bowl, add fish and coat well with garlic and lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

In large pan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Then add bell pepper, zucchini, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are soft (roughly 5-8 minutes). Add chopped tomatoes and onion greens. Simmer for 5 minutes then stir in chopped cilantro.

Remove half of vegetables to bowl, then spread remaining vegetables in pan to make a bed for fish. Place fish on top of vegetables, then add back previously removed vegetables to cover fish. Pour coconut milk over fish and bring to simmer. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes.

Serve atop hot rice and let the comforting flavors seep into your very being.

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