Friday, 14 December 2012

Nile Perch and Bean Stew

I am very excited about the fish in Dubai because the varieties are so different to the UK and there are a lot of fish I've never heard of before. Kingfish, Hammour, which is like Seabass or Seabream, it's gorgeous with firm flesh to name a few. Another fish, which I am using for this recipe, is Nile Perch which is a fresh water fish and can grow to 2 meters in length and weigh up to 200kg ( I know that feeling :-) ) It is native to Congo, Egypt, Senegal to name a few places. Like most fish it's low in fat, but very high in Omega 3. so very good for you. It's not unlike cod or haddock light in flavour but the flesh is a bit more dense in texture. If you want to read more about the fish click HERE.

This recipe is loosely based on a Cod recipe from Angela Hartnett's book “A Taste of Home, which has over 200 simple recipes and a popular book when I'm home. I have made this recipe a few times and tweak the ingredients depending on what fish I using Just before I left the UK I made it with salt cod and it changed the flavour and texture so much it was like a completely different recipe.

I am using dried chickpeas and cannellini beans, which need to be soaked over night or for 8 hours. I then drain them, add to a pan of fresh water and then bring to a rapid boil for ten minutes then tun down the heat and cook for a further 30 minutes. When draining the cooked pulses don't throw away the liquid as can use it in the final recipe which will add depth of flavour to the recipe. You can just buy tinned versions, but were is the fun in that. If you prefer the tinned versions use 200g of each and make some kind of hummus using what is left over, as I believe the tinned versions only come in 400g each.

The flavour in this recipe does improve if you have some left over and you put it in the fridge, but the chorizo will lose it's unique flavour the longer it sits in the stock. If you do place in the fridge do not worry if the liquid is thick and gelatinous as it will become liquid again when reheated.

  • 100g each of dried chickpeas and cannellini beans, (or 200g each of tinned versions)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • ½ chorizo picante, skin removed and diced
  • 500ml of chicken or fish stock
  • 2 large Nile perch fillets or firm white fish and cut into pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper to season
  • (serves 4)

If using the dried beans, once boiled place to one side, saving the liquid as mentioned above.

Put the olive oil into a heavy based pan and turn on the heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, add the sliced garlic and cook until the onions are soft, ensure you don't burn the garlic or onions.

Add the skinned chorizo and cook for a few minutes. You will see the paprika slowly being released from the chorizo and cover the other ingredients in a lovely yellow/orange colour

Add the stock and stir all together.

Add the Nile Perch and tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. Add seasoning if you require, I did not as the stock I used had enough flavour and salt.
Serve with cous cous or rice.



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