And this month, Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories is hosting. She asked the bloggers to share a fish recipe from any country or region of Africa!
- African Tin Mackerel & Bell Peppers Stew from Sneha's Recipe
- Caldo de Peixe (Cape Verdean Fish Stew) from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Camaroonian Fish Stew from Making Miracles
- Madagascar Coconut Shrimp Curry (Coco Crevettes) from Palatable Pastime
- Moroccan Shrimp Tagine with Ginger and Fennel from Karen's Kitchen Stories
In case you aren't sure where Cape Verde is, I'll give a brief background. Cape Verde is part of a volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic ocean off the coast of northwestern Africa. It's about 375 miles west of Senegal and is divided into two island groups: the Barlavento, or the windward with the islands of Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista and the leeward with the islands of Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava. All told, the combined land areas of all the islands is just slightly larger than the size of Rhode Island.
The people of the islands have a mixed ancestry from Portuguese colonists to West African slaves and some Italian traders. This dish, Caldo de Peixe, is said to have originated in Portugal, but it has cemented itself in the Cape Verde cultural heritage with its robust fishing traditions.
is one of the most treasured traditional dishes in Cape Verde. The delicacy is usually prepared with fish, sweet potatoes, vegetables, and spices. Caldo de Peixe is said to have originated from Portugal, but it’s one of the dishes with a mix of Cape Verde cultural heritage and fishing traditions.
One fact about Cape Verdeans that I loved learning: Visitors are always welcome during mealtime, even without formal invitations. Eating in public is not allowed (interesting! What about picnics?!). And enjoying your meals when others are watching but not partaking is viewed as greedy, so people are always encouraged to share what food they have.
Ingredients serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound fish, skinned, deboned, and cut into 2-inche chunks (I used a filet of wild-caught black cod)
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 cup chopped celery (this is not traditional, but I always add in veggies where I can)
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (traditional is green, I had a red one and a yellow one)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chopped greens (this is not traditional, but I always add in veggies where I can)
Add oil to a large pan and heat until shimmering. Place your chunks of fish in a single layer and pan-fry until they are opaque and beginning to crisp on the edges. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add in your onions and celery. Sauté until the onions soften and being to turn translucent. Stir in the garlic and sauté until it gets aromatic, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the tomato puree, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. Tuck a bay leaf into the mixture and add in enough water so that everything is covered by at least an inch of liquid.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are fork tender, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in the greens and cook until just wilted.
To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with chunks of fried fish. Serve hot with rice or fresh bread.
That's a wrap for our fish recipes from Africa. Next month, Sue of Palatable Pastime is leading a discussion of seafood in salad. Stay tuned.