Recipe Source: Milton, Jane with Jenni Fleetwood and Marina Filippelli. The Complete Mexican, South American & Caribbean Cookbook. Anness Publishing Ltd., London 2007 p. 158.
This dish started out as something called moqueca, which is evidently a Brazilian dish. It's Brazilian according to the original recipe, anyway. I started out fully intending to make this dish the way it was intended, but the deck was stacked against me from the start. To begin with, the dish is traditionally made with halibut. The recipe said I could use cod, haddock or monkfish as well. While I was pretty sure I had both halibut and cod fillets in my freezer when I did my shopping for the week, that turned out to not be the case. I had no halibut, no cod, no haddock. I've never even seen monkfish for sale at my supermarket. I did, however, have mahi-mahi, and that's what I used. I also had no cilantro. I know what you're thinking: how could I not have cilantro on hand? The simple fact of the matter was that I used it up earlier in the week and didn't get a chance to replenish my supply. I also used habaneros for the red chilies, because they were the closest thing to red chilies that I could get, and I omitted the palm oil because excess oil bothers my husband's stomach (and I didn't have any.) Finally, while I didn't have six fillets of anything (nor did I need six,) I did make the full amount of sauce. I did this simply to get extra vegetables into both of our stomachs. The excess coconut milk is there simply because I didn't want to use part of a can.
Fish with Peppers and Coconut Milk (serves 2; approx. $7.23/serving)
2 frozen mahi-mahi fillets, thawed
6 tablespoons lime juice
2 habanero chilies, seeded and chopped
3 tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds like you would use on a sandwich
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into rounds
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into rounds
1 14-oz can light coconut milk
- Large, flat-bottomed pot with a lid
- Put the fish fillets in the bowl and add water to cover. Add the lime juice, cover and set aside 30 minutes.
- Drain the fish.
- Arrange the fish on the bottom of your large pot.
- Sprinkle the chilies over the fish.
- Layer on the tomatoes, peppers and onion.
- Add the coconut milk. Cover and allow to stand another 15 minutes.
- Season with kosher salt to taste (a generous pinch should do it.) Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer 15 minutes.