When I saw the recipe for Brazilian fish stew (also known as moqueca), while flipping through my friend Simone’s new book, The Zenbelly Cookbook, I knew I had to share it with my readers. Being married to a Keralite guy, I love fish stew, and like many Kerala fish stew recipes, this one also uses coconut milk. Simone describes the combination of coconut milk, tomatoes and citrus as “exotic and comforting,” and I couldn’t agree more.
Like all of the recipes in her book, this stew is simple, flavorful and unique. In addition to a varied selection of recipes, Simone, a talented chef, also offers her expertise on cooking and planning menus. Some of her how-to’s and step-by-step guides include: how to cut a whole chicken, how to hold a knife, and how to source quality ingredients.
Whether you’re a new cook or an experienced one, you’ll have no trouble creating gourmet dishes to impress family and friends. Here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll find inside The Zenbelly Cookbook:
sides: cumin-orange roasted carrots, double-bacon collard greens
main entrees: citrus-herb spatchcock chicken, pistachio-crusted rack of lamb, cocao-chili pork shoulder
desserts: lemon pound cake, strawberry shortcake, chocolate layer cake
If that line-up wasn’t tempting enough, I’m sure you’ll want to buy this book after trying this recipe below. Enjoy!
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, divided
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, divided
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 1 pound wild cod, snapper, or any firm-fleshed, mild white fish fillets
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14-ounce) jar diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1½ teaspoons Fish Sauce
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- In a large, nonreactive bowl, combine ½ teaspoon of the lime zest, ½ teaspoon of the lemon zest, the lime and lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro. Add the fish and shrimp and refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Melt the coconut oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more.
- Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, fish sauce, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
- Add the fish and shrimp along with the marinade. Bring to a simmer and cook another 6 to 8 minutes, or until the fish starts to flake and the shrimp is cooked through.
- Serve garnished with the remaining cilantro and citrus zest.