The husband in particular paid close attention to every meal we were served and has mastered some of our favorite Brasilian recipes completely. One of the best dishes that he makes from this trip is a special seafood stew called Muqueca. In the photo above, our Brasilian hosts took us on a day trip to Lagoa da Conceição. We took a boat across the water and went to a restaurant whose specialty was this delicious dish. We were totally enchanted by the sweet, savory, coconut-y deliciousness of Muqueca, and knew we had to recreate it at home. Through a combination of flavor memories and internet research, we've come up with a version that brings us right back to this day.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 can light coconut milk
2 lbs. firm white fish (halibut, cod, swordfish or tilapia all work well)
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. each paprika and red pepper flakes
Pinch of salt and pepper
1) Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Heat olive oil in a deep skillet. Add the onions and peppers and saute for 10 minutes, until soft.
3) Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, lemon juice and spices and mix well.
4) Place the fish, skin side up, on top of the sauce and sprinkle with paprika. Cover the skillet, place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
5) Remove the skillet from the oven and the skin from the fish. Break the fish into pieces for serving. Serve over rice.
Recipe serves 4, with leftovers
Any recipe that brings back a day out on the ocean with my dad is a keeper in my book.