Moqueca De Peixe (Bahian Style Fish Stew)
green bell peppers
salt and black pepper
Heat the coconut in a 350℉ (180℃) F oven for 10 minutes so cracks form in the shell.
Remove from oven and, holding it in a cloth (it will be hot) over a large bowl, hit it along the fault lines with a hammer or heavy mallet. The coconut will open.
Reserve the liquid, remove the meat from the shell and take off the brown outer pieces with a pairing knife.
Grate the coconut meat, either with a hand grater or in a food processor.
Wrap grated coconut in cheesecloth and pour ½ cup warm water over it while holding it over a bowl.
Squeeze the liquid from the coconut into the bowl.
This is thick coconut milk.
Add the reserved coconut water to make thin coconut milk and get the true Brazilian taste.
Chop the coriander, tomato, pepper, and onion in a food processor until you have a coarse paste.
Then place the mixture in a large, heavy skillet over low heat.
Add the salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the fish fillets to the mixture and continue cooking for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
Add ½ cup of the fresh coconut milk and the remaining ingredients, stir and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Serve the moqueca hot with white rice and Farofa.
Note: Substitute cod fillets wit haddock, scrod, or any white, firm-fleshed fish.
If fresh coconuts are not available, you can substitute thin or light canned coconut milk, but fresh is definitely preferable.