Moqueca de Peixe (Brazilian fish stew)

Pronounced “moo-KECK-ah de PESH-ee.” I pronounce it “yummy.”

When we traveled to Brazil, our friends insisted that we acclimate our digestive systems for a few days before eating this very rich dish. Once they let us order it, though, we couldn’t stop, it was so good. I’ve made this for friends and just used olive oil — it’s not authentic, but it’s still delicious.

Serves 8

2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 each red, yellow, and green pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
3 cups fish stock or water
14-1/2 oz can coconut milk
Small bunch of green onions, sliced
3 pounds of seafood: White fish in 1-inch pieces, plus scallops and shrimp if you like
3 limes (juice one and cut the others into wedges)
2 T Brazilian dende oil (if you buy African dende, use 1 T plus 1 T olive oil)
1/3 C cilantro, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over low heat. Saute onion and peppers for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and chiles. Cook for 2 more minutes before adding the fish stock and coconut milk. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add green onions and seafood, cover, and cook for 6 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Add the juice of one lime with the dende oil and cilantro. Simmer for 5 more minutes.

Garnish with lime wedges and serve over fluffy white rice.