I've never lived in their current abode save for a week last Christmas, but it still feels like home. One question asked frequently by my family cropped up again: "What shall we eat?" It didn't take long for me to request something fishy and nothing to do with pasta; as much as I love it, I seem to have existed on pasta for a week now.
This is my dad's recipe, but as I was lurking around the kitchen I managed to get a glimpse of what was going on.
4 fillets of white fish (we used tilapia)
A handful of raw tiger prawns, deveined
2 tubes of squid and tentacles, cleaned and sliced into large pieces
1 tail of monkfish, deboned and chopped into large pieces
8 scallops, roe attached
6 tomatoes, deskinned and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 head of fennel, chopped roughly
1 green chilli, sliced finely
1 Romano pepper, cut into large chunks
Pinch of saffron
1 tsp hot paprika
A glass of white wine
Large handful of curly parsley, chopped finely
In a large saucepan, fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and the green chilli and sweat gently. Then add the fennel and fry until it's softened, and then add the Romano pepper and the chopped tomatoes. Add the white wine, bring to the boil, and then turn it down to a simmer until all the tomatoes have broken down into a thick sauce. Add the saffron and the paprika. Add about 200mls of boiling water. Add the monkfish and keep on a low heat. Meanwhile, dredge the white fish fillets in a little seasoned flour and pan fry in some vegetable oil until cooked. Add to the serving bowls. Then fry the scallops on a high heat in a clean pan, ready to place on top of the stew. Turn the heat up on the stew and add the prawns, and then the squid. When the prawns have turned pink, take off the heat and add the parsley.
To serve, ladle the stew over the white fish fillets, and then add a couple of scallops per person on top. Serve with some fresh bread to mop up the juices.
It was a very decadent dish, what with the monkfish and scallops not being the cheapest of seafood. It was a great mixture of textures, from the slightly crunchy squid tentacles to the soft scallops. The saffron really brought out the flavour of the fish, the paprika gave it a spicy hit, and the parsley, always a great match with fish, freshened it nicely. It's surprisingly rich; we were stuffed afterwards, but not in a heavy, stodgy way. I'm wondering if I can move back home...