Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Jamaican Style Stew Fish

This is a typical Jamaican way of cooking fish. It goes by various names e.g stew fish, brown stew fish. Whatever you call it, the result is outstanding in both flavor and presentation. It is done in one cooking vessel (I use a wok), and have done the sauce a bit differently so that it is smooth and does not have all the chunky bits of onion, tomato etc. Because Jamaican cooking is a melange of cultures, this goes well with a Chinese vegetable stir fry. To make this I just used a bag of Kale Salad mix from Costco but any bagged salad/slaw mix that has shredded broccoli may be used. It is not a spicy dish.
2 fish fillets (I used Basa but any firm, white fish fillet may be used)
Grace Caribbean Traditions Fish Seasoning (if this is not available just use a mixture of salt, pepper, ground allspice and a little paprika). The advantage of using the prepared seasoning is that it takes the guesswork out of balancing the spices
3 cloves garlic, left whole
1 medium sized shallot, coarsely cut
1-2 very ripe Roma tomatoes, cut in small pieces
3-4 sprigs thyme
4-5 whole allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 slices fresh Habanero chili pepper
1. Pat dry the fillets and cut them in half. Season both sides liberally with the Fish seasoning.
2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a wok, and saute the garlic, shallot, and tomato until the shallot becomes translucent. Remove the shallot, garlic and tomato pieces from the oil taking care to drain well as the oil/butter mixture will be used to lightly brown the fish fillets.
3. Place the sauteed shallot, garlic and tomato in a small food chopper and blend to form a puree.
4. Heat up the oil/butter mixture again. Add the thyme, allspice berries and 2 slices of fresh Habanero chili pepper and saute for about 1 minute. Add the fish, and fry the seasoned, dry fish fillets in the hot oil/butter for about 2-3 minutes. Pour the garlic, tomato, and shallot puree on top of the fish, coating well while the fillets are still firm. Cover and simmer for between 5-8 minutes. Add the vinegar and shake the pan to mix. Serve with rice, salad or stir fry vegetables of your choice.

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