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Monday, November 30, 2009

Fish with Coconut Milk and Avocado Lime Salsa

This is a variation of a very popular Brazilian dish called “Moqueca”. My friend Patricia’s dad who is from Recife, Northeast Brazil, makes the moqueca “come il faut” (the proper way), with dende oil, real coconut and a clay pot.
Since palm oil is required in the preparation of moqueca and it’s not easy to obtain the authentic “dende oil” in the US, I created a variation of the dish. It’s basically the moqueca recipe with no dende oil. To make it up for the lack of the oil, serve it with an avocado-lime salsa.

 Fish with Coconut Milk and Avocado Lime Salsa
6 servings

1 lb white fish such as halibut or orange roughy
½ lime juice, sea salt, pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly chopped
½ large tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¾ red pepper, julienned, skinned, if possible
1 cup coconut milk
4 tablespoon water
8 oz medium shrimp
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 cup avocado, chopped in ¼ inch cubes
1 to 1 ½ lime juice
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
sea salt to taste


Season fish and shrimp with lime juice, salt and pepper. Fry onion in 1 tablespoon of oil in medium high heat until onion translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chopped tomato, tomato paste and bell pepper, cook in medium low heat about 10 minutes, until thick. Add 1 cup coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Add the fish, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 min, covered, until the fish is almost done. While the fish is cooking, prepare the salsa: : mix all salsa ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Add shrimp, and half of the cilantro, cover, cook about 5 min or until the shrimp is cooked. Adjust the salt. Add remaining cilantro. Remove from heat and serve with salsa and rice. And optionally, pepper sauce.

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