Sailor Loves Fish Stews

And so do we. And so do you. Perfect for this transitional period of the year - warming on cool nights yet lighter than the rib-sticking fare of deep winter - fish soups and stews are appreciated by all guests and rather easy on the host/ess additionally. Below are two more of our favorite and easiest recipes, both smash hits at Cafe Drake every time we serve them.

Treat your diners to table service by ladling the entree from a centerpiece tureen. Make things simple and start with a plain green salad and finish with cheeses and fruit. Voila! Perfect dinner party!


Everyone is most familiar with the signature Brazilian Bahia stew, rich with coconut milk and palm oil. The version below - from Espirito Santo - is lighter and better than any we've ever encountered in the best South American restaurants.

6-8 cod filets / 1/4 cup fresh lime juice / 2 T. chopped garlic / about 2 t. salt / 4-5 tomatoes, cut in large pieces / 1 large onion, chopped / 1/2 each green and yellow bell pepper, chopped / 2 YELLOW plantains, cut into 8 pieces each / 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped / 1/4 cup or more olive oil

  1. Pour lime juice, 1 T. garlic and about 1 t. salt over fish and toss. Marinate in fridge for 1 hour.

  2. Put tomatoes in large pot and top with onion and remaining garlic.

  3. Sprinkle chopped peppers over all.

  4. Place plantains over peppers. Add rest of teh salt.

  5. Put fish in 1 layer on top of plantains.

  6. Sprinkle cilantro over all and add remaining marinade and rest of oil.

  7. Bring to a simmer then cover pot.

  8. Cook on very low for 20 minutes and serve with crusty French bread.


1 t. ground cumin / 1/4 cup olive oil / 1 can stewed tomatoes / 2 T. drained capers / just less than a t. of ground cinnamon / 4 filets of halibut, swordfish or cod

  1. Heat cumin in oil in large pan for 1 minute.

  2. Stir in tomatoes, capers, cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Simmer until thickened a bit - about 10 minutes.

  4. Salt and pepper fish filets then add to pan.

  5. Cover and simmer on very low heat for no longer than 10 minutes.

  6. Serve with couscous of course.


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