This Cod Stew with Pimenton & Chorizo is exactly the kind of cooking (and eating) I love.
I said I was going to stick with a simple “elemental” style for a few posts because I have felt like I have let the blogosphere lead me too far astray from the kinds of recipes I love most.
So here I am attempting to get off the blogger bandwagon and choose recipes and foods that absolutely appeal to me on a gut level.
Which means I may be standing out in the left field all alone for a while. I might lose readers. But I don’t mind (pant, pant, sweat, sweat). Because I am in a place right now where I am trying to remember why it is I started this blog.
I’m pretty sure I started this blog because I love food and I love eating. That sounds about right. But then I got caught up in getting people to notice my blog. Which means I spent too much time trying to find recipes I thought other people would like. You know the recipes I mean, so don’t make me humiliate myself any further. At least I never went as far as healthy snacks for kids; but really, let’s be honest, I don’t care what kids eat. Does that make me a bad person?
So here’s what I‘ve decided, these next few weeks are about taking back my blog. Taking it back from the advertisers. Taking it back from the publicists. Taking it back from the me that doesn’t trust himself as much as he used to.
Food should evoke some sort of feeling. I believe that. So the food we choose should make us feel something. The foods that I can get passionate about are often recipes that I call elemental– because each ingredient can stand on its own. Sure each can (and should) contribute to the success of the whole dish, but if they can’t stand alone, on their own– then an opportunity is being missed. Because we should all be able to stand alone, on our own. Even when cooked in the same pot.
Which brings me to today’s Cod Stew with Pimenton & Chorizo. And though I am calling this a stew. I have left all the elements rather large, and individually identifiable. Each onion, each piece of red pepper, even the fish itself will need to be cut in order to eat it. I believe this reinforces the elemental style I am going for because it forces me to slow down and choose what my next bite is going to be.
Giving me plenty of time to figure out how I can “sell this post” as a healthy snack for kids!
Spanish pimenton is a type of smoked paprika and gives this dish its unique flavor. Adapted from Raquel Carena.
- 1⁄4 c extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and quartered lengthwise
- 1 large yellow onion, trimmed at top and bottom, peeled and quartered lengthwise
- 2 roma tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
- 1⁄4 t fennel seeds
- 1⁄2 t spanish pimenton powder
- 1 8‑inch piece of dry cured spanish choizo, cut into bit size pieces
- salt and pepper as needed
- 1/2 t red wine vinegar
- 1 lb cod fillet, cut into 4 equal portions
- fennel fronds as garnish, optional
Cod Stew Instructions
Over medium heat, warm a medium-sized Dutch oven with a lid. Add the oil, the peppers, onions, tomatoes, fennel seeds, pimenton, and the chorizo. Stir to coat. Add 1/4 cup water and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Let vegetables simmer with the lid closed for one hour, stirring occasionally, but carefully to keep the pieces large, until the vegetables become very soft. Taste the accumulated broth and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper. Add the red wine vinegar. Gently stir to incorporate.
Carefully lay the fish pieces on top of the vegetables. Try to keep the fish pieces from touching each other. Cover and cook again for ten minutes until the fish is no longer translucent.
Carefully place each piece of fish into each of four shallow serving bowls. Add some tomato, red pepper, and chorizo pieces. Spoon some broth on top of each piece of fish. Garnish with optional fennel fronds. Serve immediately.
Dry-cured Italian salami is a fine substitute for Spanish chorizo. Just add an extra pinch of pimenton.