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Friday, February 18, 2011

Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew) ...inspired by Woman on Top

The movie we're currently using for culinary inspiration over at Food 'n Flix is Woman on Top starring Penelope Cruz.  It's's a  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)
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!

This post is linked to:
Food‘nFlix DecidedlyHealthyORHorriblyDecadent SouperSundays

Would you like to comment?

  1. How fun! The movie...the Moqueca....the food inspired by film. Love it!

  2. Not only does this sound delicious but looks so pretty. Love all of the colors. I really like your blog.

  3. Hot Damn...I'm driving up there now!!! You have the most amazing this one :-)

  4. This does look like it could transport you to the tropics! Love this post! Yummmm!

  5. adding coconut milk to fish, and pairing it with hot steamed rice! now you're making me hungry...again! lol

  6. wow what a colourful and yummy dish...

  7. This stew looks lovely, I would love to have it with some plain rice

  8. HELLO! SO colorful and spicy and passionate. Love it.

  9. I've made moqueca before and a bite definitely is enough to send you straight to the tropics! I think I'll need this after my final exam today...

  10. I knew moqueca not from the movie but from Jorge Amado's books. They made me imagine the stew exactly like you describe it, fun, colourful and sexy. I've never tried to make it, but I have always wanted to, and now I have your recipe to follow: thanks!!

  11. Que delicia de receta, me encanta.


  12. I simply adore barsilian food. And isn't it just the sexiest language?

    I hadn't heard of Food n Flix - I'm going to have to go check that out. Sounds like fun!

  13. yes! i did seen this movie but i havent got the said recipe thanx for sharing it to us

    heres my share for the weekend

  14. It sounds like a fun event Heather and an even motre deliciouis dish.

  15. I'm always looking for good movies...and good stew recipes! This looks like a winning post on both accounts. Thank you for sharing your heart and these treats. I hope you have a blessed Saturday!

  16. Moqueca!!
    What a wonderful post, just what we need on a frozen Saturday afternoon here, a food trip to the tropics!

  17. Honestly, with all the cooking I do now, fish still scares the bejeepers out of me. I have made it but only once or twice - this sounds so sunny and delicious.

  18. Mmm, wonderful! I have never had this before, or any Brazilian dishes, I don't think. Looks delicious!

  19. So bright and colorful--it looks delicious. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

    I must start working on my Food N' Flix dish. ;-)

  20. Heather - this looks absolutely yummy - I am so craving it this very minute. Thanks for sharing.

  21. This fish stew is a perfect pick for Woman on Top as so much of the film made mention of the fishes and the sea. I've never had a fish stew before, but I can't help but be drawn to this one with all of the gorgeous colors. Very pretty!

  22. Heather! What a beautiful dish! Thanks so much for sharing this last week on Fresh Clean and Pure Friday....what a perfect recipe! Hope you stop by again this weekend with another one of your interesting creations! Roz