My Caldeirada

scan_00000075Caldeirada is a one-pot fish stew, simple yet rewarding.

Peel and cut a medium-sized onion into thin rings. Peel and crush two or three cloves of garlic. Sautee in olive oil, then add two or three large ripe tomatoes, diced. Add two or three firm and waxy potatoes per portion, peeled and cut into large chunks. Add a glass of cold water and bring to a gentle simmer.

Add half a teaspoon of ground coriander and ground cumin each, and a slightly smaller amount of turmeric, crushed black pepper and hot chilly powder. (Our German readers note we need cumin (Kreuzkuemmel), not German Cumin (Kuemmel) here.)

Also add a chicken or vegetable stock cube. Simmer gently until the potatoes are almost cooked, approximately 20 minutes. You may want to add some Chorizo or Linguica sausage, cut into thick slices after 15 minutes for deeper flavour.

Meanwhile, prepare the fish. Monkfish is an excellent choice if you’re patient enough to clean away all the skins. Red Bream, Snapper and most other whitefish will also work, or you could use seafood from the freezer if you were desperate. Cut into pretty large chunks.

Cut some stale or fresh nice bread into thick slices, rub with garlic, soak in olive oil and fry on the griddle until crisp, then cut into croutons.

When the potatoes are done, turn down the heat and wait until the Caldeirada no longer simmers, finish the seasoning, then add a handful of pitted black olives and the fish. Turn the heat off and poach for 10 to 15 minutes, then serve with the croutons and a chilled white or a fruity red wine.