The movie we're currently using for culinary inspiration over at Food 'n Flix is Woman on Top starring Penelope Cruz. It's fun...it's a chick-flick...it has sexy men and (dare I say) even sexier food! With her cooking, Isabella can mesmerize palates...and men...wherever she goes. Fleeing from her cheating husband and their restaurant in her native Brazil, she lands in San Francisco to start over from scratch. Isabella strives to find balance between her need to control (hence, woman on top) and the passion in her heart.
Isabella finds a position teaching a cooking class, which leads to her own cooking spot on a local television station. She infuses San Francisco with tempting dishes that stem from her fiery, passionate, colorful Brazilian roots!
I wanted to make something bursting with color and flavor! With sunshine and passion! This pot of Moqueca is a layered fish stew that consists of colorful vegetables, milky-white fish, salty-briny shrimp, and delicate coconut milk that are laced with a hit of spice. It's far too easy to close your eyes, take a bite, and imagine you're on a sunny beach. Just what I needed in the depths of winter.
(Brazilian Fish Stew)
adapted from Our Brazilian Home to Yours
makes ~6-8 svgs.
2 lbs. Tilapia, each fillet halved crosswise on the bias
1 lb. shrimp, shelled & deveined
juice of 1 lime
1½ Tbs. smoked Paprika
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 roma tomatoes, sliced into rounds
2 medium red onions, sliced into rounds
2-3 bell peppers in various colors, sliced into rounds
8 oz. coconut milk
1 tsp. sea salt
big handful fresh cilantro
brown basmati rice (cooked) for serving
Combine fish and shrimp with the next 5 ingredients in a large dish. Toss to coat well. Cover and let sit for ~30 minutes to marinate.
In a large, deep, wide pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for ~1 minute. Turn heat down a bit and layer half of the veggies in the pot. Arrange the fish and shrimp and any of their juices over this layer of veggies. Finish with the remaining veggies. Pour in the coconut milk and salt.
Raise heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a very low bubble and cook for ~30 minutes. Remove lid and scatter cilantro over top of everything. Cover again, then turn off heat and let sit for ~10 minutes. The seafood and veggies should be cooked, but not mushy.
To serve, spoon hot rice into serving bowls and top with a few spoonfuls of Moqueca. Be sure to give everybody a few chunks of fish and some shrimp and some veggies...and spoon the broth over everything.
Now. Close your eyes and clear your mind. And pretend you're in the Tropics. Unless of course you really are in the Tropics. In that case. You suck and I'm jealous.
Submissions for food inspired by Woman on Top are due on Friday, February 25th...I hope you'll join us over at Food 'n Flix!
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