cook’s illustrated moqueca (Brazilian seafood stew)

cook’s illustrated moqueca (Brazilian seafood stew)
4 whole pickled hot cherry peppers
about 3 ounces (roughly .2 pounds), stemmed, see notes
1 half onion
coarsely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 tsp sugar
or just a pinch
1 whole onion
coarsely chopped
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
14.5 ounces
1/4 cup cilantro
1 lb large shrimp
peeled, deveined, tails removed (26-30 per pound)
1 lb cod
cut into 1 1/2" pieces
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 whole red bell pepper
stemmed, de-seeded and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 whole green bell pepper
stemmed, de-seeded and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp salt
1 can coconut milk
14 ounces
2 tbsp lime
2 tbsp pepper sauce
1/2 cup cilantro
We appreciate how this recipe can be prepped in advance, and we've revised its preparation to reflect how we operate as a family of three. We front-load all the work so that close to serving time, all that's left to do is boil the stew and throw in the seafood. As a smaller family, we also put away half of the recipe to quickly prepare for the next day. Cooked in its entirety, this stew is fit for company ... the tomatoes and coconut milk come together beautifully with the perfectly cooked seafood!
food processor prep
For the pepper sauce, process the cherry peppers, onion, olive oil and sugar for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
Adding 1/4 teaspoon increments at a time, season to taste with salt. We usually just add a total of 1/2 teaspoon. Empty the sauce into a separate container and reserve the sauce in the fridge.
For the stew base, add the onion, tomatoes (and juice), and cilantro to the now-empty food processor. Combine until pureed, about 30 seconds. Reserve.
for the stew
Process the seafood. Reserve half at this point if cooking this meal over the course of two days. Toss with garlic, salt and pepper. Reserve in fridge.
Preheat the large Dutch oven over medium-high heat then add the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the bell peppers and salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
Add the pureed tomato mixture and salt to the pot. Drop the heat to medium and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Mix in the coconut milk until fully incorporated. If cooking just half of the recipe, reserve half of the stew base, about 3 cups.
We usually pause at this point. We cover the pot and turn off the heat. One parent will run off to pick up our daughter, while the other parent picks up the cooking upon arrival.
We resume cooking by heating the pot over high heat. Once the mixture comes to a full boil (entire surface is bubbling, not just the edges), toss in the seafood and lime juice, then stir to evenly coat and submerge. Cover and transfer the pot away from heat. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
Gently mix in pepper sauce and cilantro, saving a few pinches of cilantro to top individual servings. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve in low bowls with remaining pepper sauce on the side.
To cook the other half of the recipe the next day, season the seafood with garlic, salt, and pepper. Bring the stew base to a full boil in a medium Dutch oven and repeat steps 9 and 10.
source: March-April 2018 issue of Cook's Illustrated
In San Francisco, we have found the pickled hot cherry peppers in the deli section of Rainbow Grocery which is great, because we can buy the exact amount we need for the recipe.

In selecting bell peppers, we choose the ones with 3 sides per this post.