Catalan fish and clam stew with ground toasted almonds and saffron.
This is a recipe I've altered slightly from Moro, The Cookbook, a beautiful collection of recipes from London's wonderful North African and Spanish restaurant Moro. I used to live across the street from it on lovely Exmouth Market and it was always packed. I used to love passing by in the morning and seeing their produce deliveries on the inside of the metal gates protecting their storefront.
I love romesco sauce. It's definitely gaining attention and I see it more and more on menus. It pairs beautifully with vegetables and fish and even meat. Its complex and bright with roasted almonds and hazelnuts, vinegar and red peppers. I will do a recipe just for the sauce soon.
This stew borrows its name from that lovely sauce. I've added vinegar and substituted hot smoked paprika instead of sweet to give the stew some heat. I've also used cod instead of monkfish but, of course, either would work fine. Enjoy with potatoes, rice or just on its own!
Romesco de Peix
6 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, medium dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves
2 red peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tsp smoked hot paprika
1 large tin crushed plum tomatoes
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup fish stock
1 tsp saffron threads, infused in 4 tbsp boiling water
1.5 cups whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted, ground
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 lb cod, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb littleneck clams
In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat the onion, stirring occasionally, until translucent and beginning to caramelize.
Add the garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and red pepper. When the pepper has softened and cooked for a further 10 minutes, add the paprika and tomatoes. Stir to combine and simmer for another 10 minutes. Then add the white wine and allow the alcohol to boil off for a few minutes. Add the fish stock and the saffron water. Stir to combine. Add the almonds and vinegar and stir again.
Just before serving, add the monkfish and clams, stir in and cover the pot.
Serve alongside lemon fondant potatoes and garnish with parsley.