The majority of my blog posts are usually recording the family recipes being passed down to me, or sharing new recipes I find and like the look of, to try out at home. Rarely do I get the chance to cook for friends, trying out a recipe that is new and untested, all at the same time.
I’m glad I got the opportunity to try this out on a new audience as I had had this recipe bookmarked for a while and hadn’t managed to cook it yet. Having never been a huge fan of stews or Mexican food, I thought I could try and conquer two hurdles at the same time.
While this recipe may be Mexican in origin and while it technically should be called a stew, I would not call it one, in comparison to those I am used to, from the hazy days of school dinners with dodgy dumplings. This was seriously a world far away better!
After taking over my friend’s kitchen, I set about diligently following the recipe, until I had all the pieces of the dish ready to cook together. The smell of the sauce was incredible and tasting the sauce as I was cooking it, just seemed to get hotter (chilli wise) as time went on.
Serving it up at the table, it was like a feast had been created from a simple recipe, especially with all the accompaniments and tortillas it was served with.
It tasted amazing and within seconds of it being tried, I was rewarded with comments such as “You can make this again!”
I asked for a quote from my friends, to add to the post and this is what I was sent…
“A sensational dish jam-packed with all the variety vibrancy and va va voom of a Fiesta”
Based on a recipe by John Torode
2 dried chillies
1.0 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion , chopped
4 garlic cloves , chopped
1.0 tsp chipotle paste
1.0 tsp ground cumin
700.0ml chicken stock
250.0g chopped tomatoes , from a can
200.0g large peeled raw prawns
300.0g halibut or other firm white fish fillets, cut into 2.5cm pieces
300.0g mussels or clams
500.0g small new potatoes , halved and boiled
juice 2 limes
1. Toast the chillies in a hot dry frying pan for a few moments (they will puff up a bit), then remove. Deseed and stem chillies, and soak in boiling water for 15 mins.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, season and cook for about 5 mins or until softened. Add the chipotle paste, reconstituted chillies, cumin, stock and tomatoes. Sauté for 5 mins, then purée until very fine in a blender.
3. Pour back into the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins. When close to eating, add the prawns, fish fillets, mussels and potatoes. Place a lid on top and cook for 5 mins over a medium-high heat. Add the lime juice and serve with avocado, coriander and red onion.
Additionally serve with soured cream, if you want it a little cooler.