Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Portuguese Seafood Stew: Caldeirada de Peixe

Portuguese Fish Stew, also known as Caldeirada de Peixe, is a rustic medley of magnificent mixed seafood, fish and fresh vegetables bathed in a luscious aromatic herb-infused tomato broth. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I first tried this fabulous low-fat recipe from The South Beach Diet Cookbook, an indispensable dietary bible penned by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon, when I first tried to shed some unwanted pound a number of years ago. The South Beach Diet is relatively simple in principle. It replaces 'bad carbs' and 'bad fats' with 'good carbs and 'good fats. This delicious Seafood stew is an absolutely delicious recipe, whether you want to shed pounds or not!

Low-Fat Portuguese Fish Stew
Serves 6 

1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 bay leaves
8 canned and filleted anchovies
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp tobasco
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed, or 1 tsp Pernod
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 cup water
2 6.5 oz cans of clams, with juices
1 lb mussels
1/2 lb calamari, cleaned and cut into 1/8-inch rings
1 lb cod or halibut, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups whole fresh basil
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add anchovies, onions, garlic, bay leaves, oregano and tabasco; cook until onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and cook a minute more.  Whisk together wine and tomato paste in a small bowl and add to onion mixture. Simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, fennel seeds, worcestershire and vinegar and let simmer 30 minutes. Stir in the clams and their juices; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the mussels, cover the pan and let simmer 5 minutes. Add the fish, calamari and shrimp and simmer until they are cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Discard any unopened mussels. Stir in the basil leaves just before serving.

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