Grating plum tomatoes for Catalan fish stew makes an instant puree. Cooking the tomato puree with serrano ham and olives adds layers of flavors to the stew.
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved crosswise
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup bottled clam broth
4 ounces sliced serrano ham, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup pitted green olives, chopped
1 1/2 pound halibut fillet, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon sweet Pimentón de la Vera, smoked Spanish paprika
How to Make It
Using a box grater set in a bowl, carefully grate the cut sides of the tomatoes, stopping when you reach the skin. You should have about 2 cups of tomato pulp.
In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and half of the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until they are softened and just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato pulp and cook over high heat until it is thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the clam broth and boil until it is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Add the serrano, olives and halibut and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fish is cooked through and the stew is thick, about 5 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, using the back of a spoon, mash the remaining garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Whisk in the mayonnaise, pimentón and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Serve the fish stew in shallow bowls with a dollop of the pimentón mayonnaise.
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