New Year, New Food
At this time of year we are all in search of that super-slimming detox, kick-start diet or new year health regimes. But this doesn’t mean comfort food is thrown out along with the super-sized wardrobe! So I start 2015 in search of healthy, yet comforting recipes that revitalise and energise after the very sluggish festive period.
The new year also brings exciting new food trends, as different worldly cuisines are brought to the culinary forefront. Although I have previously dabbled in several cuisines throughout 2014, I believe Peruvian, Brazilian and Portuguese cooking is set to be this year’s big trend setters; with maybe a couple of trips to South Africa and Eastern Europe on the globe trotting hit list!
With all this in mind, the warm and sunny climate of coastal Portugal is maybe the perfect place to start the year. Portuguese cuisine uses fresh and hearty produce straight from the land, relying on herbs and spices to bring warmth and depth of flavour. Portugal is known for its punchy Piri-Piri, and its these spicy tendencies that marries so well with the freshness of seafood.
Packed full of protein, essential fatty acids and vitamins, a traditional Portuguese fish stew is the perfect way to reboot this January. Nationally known as Caldeirada, this stew traditionally uses a wide range of available seasonal fish. With a combination of both white and oily fish, caldeirada typical boasts a based of potato, onion and green pepper, enhanced by regional flavours of paprika and coriander.
For added warmth and comfort, I have added mild chilli and harrisa, along with toasted crusty bread and piri-piri aioli for a little indulgence. Tailor this recipe to suit your palate and seasonality, adding a combination of shell, oily and white, meaty fish.
At this time of year look for seasonal seafood as; clams, cockles, cod, haddock, langoustine, mackerel, monkfish, turbot, mussels and scallops
Happy New Year!
- Dash of rapeseed oil
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 mild chilli diced
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1 large potato diced
- 200g large cherry tomatoes
- 2tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp harissa/tomato paste
- Bunch of coriander
- 200ml white wine
- 600ml fish stock/water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small/100g prepared squid
- 1 fillet of white fish (I used monkfish, but you can use cod, haddock or hake)
- 1 fillet of oily fish (I used mackerel, but you can use tuna or trout)
- 4 scallops
- 100g king prawns
- 300g mussels
- Heat the oil in a large lidded pan before frying the onion, chilli, garlic and pepper for 10 minutes, until soft. Add the potato, cherry tomatoes cut in half, paprika and cayenne pepper. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes before adding the harissa/tomato paste and a generous handful of roughly chopped coriander.
- Add the wine and allow the alcohol cook off for a couple of minutes. After about 3 minutes, add the water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the squid, cover once again and cook for a further 10 minutes
- Lay the fish in the broth, followed by the scallops and prawns then top with the mussels. Season generously with corse salt and cracked black pepper and cover for a final time and allow to gently simmer until the mussels have opened and the fish is cooked – this will take about 5 – 10 minutes.
- Finish with the zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon, more chopped coriander and season as needed. Discard any closed mussels and serve with warm, toasted bread and piri-piri aioli.
- Rapeseed mayonnaise
- Squeeze of lemon
- Chilli flakes
- Simply combine all the ingredients to achieve your desired flavour and heat.