I still don't really remember how the conversation started. All I know is that D asked if I would help his friends cook a dish that used old world and new world ingredients...for their AP World History project. I never say 'no' to kids wanting to cook something. Initially D wasn't involved; he just asked me to help R and J. Sure thing!
Then, because they have the same teacher (albeit at different periods), D managed to ally himself with their project and Mr. Bourgeois said he could present along with them. Because time was short and they had a full day of robotics on Saturday, our dinner had to be on Sunday. The only problem: we were supposed to be having my parents over for their birthday dinner that night. A phone call later, I had convinced my mom that she and my dad wanted moqueca for dinner...and D convinced his friends that they were going to cook my parents' celebration dinner and get their assignment done. Phew.
Ingredients makes one pot, serves 8
- 2 to 3 pounds of seafood (we used a combination of mussels, shrimp, squid, and cod)
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
- olive oil
- 2 C chopped celery
- 2 C chopped onion
- 2 C plantain, sliced into coins
- 3 to 4 large tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 1 T smoked paprika
- pinch of red pepper chile flakes
- other spices, as desired (not really sure what else they put in there, but it was tasty!)
- 5 C water or stock (we used chicken stock + clam juice)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 C fresh cilantro chopped + more for garnish
- fresh green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced for garnish
- Also needed: cooked rice (we used Jasmine rice), fresh limes for squeezing
Chop and dice the celery and onions.
Peel the plantains and slice into coins.
Slice the tomatoes into wedges. Once all the ingredients are prepped, you can head to the kitchen.
Bring to a boil and stir in the seafood in order of how long it takes to cook. They did shrimp first, then fish, and squid and mussels last; the mussels were pre-cooked and out of their shells already. Stir in the coconut milk and heat till it's warm. Adjust seasoning as needed.
I like to place a scoop of rice in the bowl and ladle seafood on top of the mound of rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro and green onions and top with a squeeze of lime.