Moqueca {You Had Me At Coconut Milk}

July 05, 2011

A stew in the summertime may seem counter-intuitive, but then again, Brazillians should know something about warm weather fare. With simple ingredients, most of which you may have on hand, this fast and easy meal may be just the ticket to get you out of the BBQ rut and into the tropics. Ahhh...pass the pina colada.

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  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 large bell peppers or red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (16 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
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Stir together the lime juice, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large ziploc bag or bowl. Add the tilapia and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes, up to 24 hours.

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Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Quickly fry the onions, garlic and ginger in the oil 1 to 2 minutes.

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Reduce heat to medium. Add the bell pepper and diced tomatoes to the pot. Pour the coconut milk and chicken broth over the mixture, and stir.

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Add the tilapia. Cover the pot and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Stir in the cilantro and continue cooking until the tilapia is completely cooked through, another 5 to 10 minutes. Serve. Welcome to Brazil!

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