Monday, February 18, 2013

Cooking with Dr. Monkey

My 2013 new recipe challenge rolls on.  This past week I made vatapa, a Brazilian fish soup.

I started out by chopping my fish in to bite sized chunks.  I used a little under a pound of salmon, a little over a pound of cod, and a small piece of mahi-mahi.

Next I peeled and deveined about a pound of shrimp.  Then I covered both the shrimp and fish and put them in the fridge.
Next up I finely chopped on large white onion, four Serrano chilies, three cloves of garlic, and a one inch piece of ginger.  I put all these ingredients into my stock pot in which I had heated up three tablespoons of canola oil.  I simmered everything for about ten minutes.
Once all my aromatics were nice and sauteed, I added three cups of pureed tomatoes, my home canned tomatoes naturally, and one third cup of reduced fat peanut butter.  I stirred everything together and then I added one can of reduced fat coconut milk.
 Next, I juiced one big lime and I
chopped up a small bunch of cilantro and I put both in my stock put, and then I added one quart of fat free chicken broth.
I brought my broth to a boil with the lid off, then I turned it down to below medium, and when it had cooked down a little I added a dash of sea salt and a dash of cracked black pepper.  My broth cooked in my pot with the lid on for about 45 minutes on simmer and then ten minutes before we got ready to eat I ladled out some of the broth, enough to cover the fish, and put it into a big saute pan.  I then sauteed the fish in the broth that I had ladled out.  Six minutes in I added my shrimp.  Once the shrimp was done I put all the fish and shrimp and broth back in my big stock pot with the rest of the broth.  I took it off the burner and let it sit for about five minutes.
I served it up to our guests and we ate it with some of Sparky's homemade bread and some raw veggies.

The verdict:  delicious.  This soup is both spicy and a little sweet, it's nutty and a little sour.  It reminds me of Thai food in that it has so many different things going on all at the same time.  It's not that hard to make and you can buy whatever fish you like to put in it.  You can also substitute the peanut butter for peanuts but you have to crush them or process them in your food processor.  Overall the soup the way I made it was very tasty and it had just the right amount of heat from the chilies, it was noticeable but not overwhelming.  I'll definitely make this dish again.


intelliwench said...

Sounds amazing...where do you get good fresh fish in JC?

gmb said...

sounds fabulous, looks fabulous. Kudos, Dr. Monkey.

Brewella Deville said...

Nice. It does have a kind of Thai curry vibe, doesn't it? I'll be trying something like this soon.

Dr. MVM said...

I get fish at Earthfare and Fresh Market intelliwench. But only if it looks good. If it looks like it's been there for day or has a super strong fish smell, then no.