Sunday 11 March 2012

Fish Stew with Clams, Red Peppers, Almonds and Saffron

This is a Catalan fish stew from the Moro cookbook, it is called Romesco de peix. Romesco after the famous nut sauce from the region. Different types of fish can be used, Moro use monkfish and clams, you can also use mussels, prawns and other white fish. I'd be pretty happy sat in a little Catalonian restaurant with a bowl of this, some fresh bread, a salad and a crisp cold white wine, it would be delightful actually...

We picked up some very pretty clams from the Grainger Market and two little gurnard. I got a bit I got a bit carried away taking photos of the clams, and the gurnard are quite cute in an odd ugly fish way...

To start you need to heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and add a large chopped onion with a pinch of salt. Cook the onion slowly for about 15-20 minutes until it is soft, sweet and golden. Then add 2 cloves of garlic sliced thinly, a couple of large sprigs of rosemary finely chopped, 3 bay leaves and 2 red peppers thinly sliced. Soften the pepper for about 10 minutes then add half a teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika and a tin of chopped tomatoes. These amounts will serve four people.

Simmer everything for another 10 minutes then add 150ml of white wine, let the alcohol bubble off for a couple of minutes then add 100ml of fish stock and about 50 strands of saffron that have been infused in 4 tablespoons of hot water, add the saffron and the water. Then add about 100g of ground almonds, Moro say 150g, which seems an awful lot, I may have added less than 100g, just until you have a thick-ish sauce. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Finally add the fish, we left the gurnards whole, with their heads removed. If you're using monkfish cut it into chunks, about 650g. Add the fish and the clams, about 500g to the pot of sauce. Put the lid on and simmer until the fish is cooked through and the clams have steamed open, about 5 minutes. The sauce is deliciously smoky and sweet with paprika, tomato, nuttiness; with bites of sweet red peppers and fresh white fish and sweet little clams.

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Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x