Brazilian fish stew

Ingredients to serve 4

550g fish fillets, such as cod, haddock, halibut or tilapia, cut into 5cm chunks
1 spring onion (white and green parts), chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 tablespoons (palm) dende oil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander
Two thirds of a green pepper, chopped
Two thirds of a yellow pepper, chopped
350ml fish stock
225ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
85g canned hearts of palm, drained
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and diced

Prepare the marinade for the fish: in a bowl, mix together half of the spring onion, half of the onion, half of the ginger, and half of the garlic. Add 2 tablespoons of the dende oil, all of the olive oil, and half of the coriander. Place the fish chunks in a zip-lock plastic bag and add the marinade. Rub it around the fish so it is well distributed. Remove all the air from the plastic bag and seal it well. Place the fish in the refrigerator, making sure it is covered by the marinade, and let it rest for at least 3 hours.

Take the fish out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before using. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

Place the remaining 3 tablespoons of dende oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining spring onion, onion and the green and yellow peppers and cook for 3 minutes until they are soft.

Add the remaining ginger and garlic and mix well. Cook for another minute or until hot. Add the fish stock and let it come to a full boil. Add the coconut milk and tomato paste, and bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat to simmer the sauce gently.

In the meantime, spread the fish and marinade in a gratin dish. Pour the lemon juice on top and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until almost done, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Carefully transfer each chunk of fish into the pan with the sauce. Pour in any remaining juices from the fish and marinade. Braise the fish in the sauce over low heat with the pan covered until the fish is soft and tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Uncover the pan, add the hearts of palm and tomatoes, and heat through.

Taste the sauce then season it with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the remaining fresh coriander. Serve over rice or farofa (a Brazilian flour-based mixture).

From 'Cook Brazilian' by Letitia Moreinos Schwartz (Kyle Cathie, £19.99)

Sommelier's choice

Rioja Tinto 2004, Spain

This youthful Rioja has an abundance of fruit to balance out the paprika, and lots of tannin to cut through the fat in the chorizo.

Berry Bros & Rudd, £16.95, www.bbr.com; 0870 900 4300

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