After a few weeks of just feeling miserable I am finally getting into my groove, not yet finding the second trimester boost of energy but more like accepting the fact that this pregnancy is a WHOLE lot different than my last. And listening to my body, moving when I can and just being still when I need to. But at least I am back in the kitchen!!!
I totally did not even know what to call this incredible soup. It's like a bouillabaisse, with a dominicanized spin and only one kind of fish (I honestly chose cod because it was wild and on sale). Light, delish and everything I want on a cool summer evening. My favorite bowl (yes I had a few!) when topped with fresh sliced radishes, cilantro and lots of hot sauce (or is that just pregnancy cravings?) Oh and as for left overs; because let's be honest I am not making anything I can't reheat for lunch or dinner, reheat the broth with fish and add mussels and shrimp to the steaming broth. This helps them from becoming chewy and so worth it because the broth is dynamite after a couple days.
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
3 cups good quality fish stock or vegetable broth (I used vegtable)
spoonful of fish sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups of water
2 Bay leafs
10 whole black peppercorns
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup of scallions
1 leek thinly sliced
1 28 ounce can of crushed, peeled tomatoes
1 bunch fresh oregano + stalks
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 pound of Cod fillets, cut into large chunks
½ pound jumbo shrimp
Juice of two lemons
Bolas de platanos
2 green platanos
1/2 cup (give or take depending on size of pan)
garlic powder (optional)
Heat a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic, tomato paste and saute until fragrant (careful not to burn).
Add the wine and simmer for a few minutes. Then add the tomatoes, oregano, cilantro, fish sauce, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, cayenne, chili, leek and cayenne and fish stock. Simmer for 30 minutes until the liquid has reduced a bit, stir occasionally.
While the liquid is simmering, give the mussels and clams a good wash in plenty of clean, cold eater and scrub any dirty one lightly with a scrubbing brush, pulling off any beardy bits. If there are any that aren't tightly closed, give them a sharp tap on the counter. If they don't close up, throw them away.
With a sharp small knife cut ends from each platano and cut a lengthwise slit through skin. Cut plantains crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces and, beginning at slit, pry skin from pieces. In a small nonstick skillet heat 1/2-inch oil over moderate heat until just hot enough to sizzle when a plantain piece is added. Fry platanos in batches, without crowding, until tender and just golden, about 3 minutes on each side. With tongs transfer platanos as fried to paper towels to drain.
Let them cool and with the bottom of a heavy saucepan or a wide solid metal spatula flatten plantains ( I have this little contraption my mom bought for me!) but instead of refrying (like you would tostones) form into a ball with wet hands. I seasoned each one with a little adobo and garlic powder before forming into a ball. Put aside to add to soup right before you serve.
BACK TO THE SOUP: After the liquid has simmered, turn off the heat, and puree using an immersion blender or carefully transfer to a standing blender and puree until smooth. If you like, you can strain the contents for a really smooth broth. I did not. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In the same pan bring the broth to a simmer, add lemon juice and the fish. Cooking for about 10-15 minutes (depending on how big the pieces are). Then add the shrimp, clams, and mussels, pushing down the seafood into the liquid and put a lid on it. Cook gently over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until all of the clams and mussels have opened up and the shrimp turns pink. (Discard any clams or mussels that don't open).
Ladle the soup into bowls. Roughly chop a few cilantro leaves and garnish. Add a few of the platanos to the soup, serve with a lemon wedge, and enjoy!
One of my favorite parts about cooking at this point in my life is recreating meals that mean something, meals that instantly flood my mind with memories and that of course taste delicious.
As I sat brainstorming this recipe with my mom, talking about a dish my abuela (her mom) use to make and my favorite soup my mom use to make me whenever I felt sick (this is where the bolas de platanos come from!!!) made this recipe more than just a craving for seafood I have had this whole pregnancy. It's not about what people want to see or just because but much much more. Just like my love from cooking is about so much more than the need to just make meals. It's about putting a little of me in every dish I make.
I absolutely love this part of the blog and would love to hear what you want to see more of on our dish tab, more meals I make regularly? More meal planning? More crock pot or one pan meals? more dinner party worthy or toddler meals? Tell tell me!! I'll of course put my spin on it but I do this for you so I'd love to hear.
Happy week my loves.