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Californian Casserole with Fish and Shellfish

January 22, 2012

I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I decided to try and make this aaaall by myself. Because there I was, alone in my kitchen with live mussels in the sink. Having always loved mussels, but never actually cooked them myself, this was very interesting. After all, who hasn’t heard scary stories about people being poisoned from badly cooked shellfish? To avoid this nightmare, I decided to just read a lot about it first, and then make sure I had the freshest produce I could find. I am blessed with a supermarket nearby that has a Fresh Fish department that is open until 8 PM every night. They had live mussels, and I bought a lot. If I was going to do it, I was going to do it right… Mussel fest! I also invested in some fresh Cod and some “Salad shrimp” (already cooked, I had enough to worry about with the live mussels).  Home to the kitchen, and off we go!

This recipe was inspired by “Den Store Fedt Fattige” published by Reader’s Digest.

You need:

  • Coconut oil (my new substitute for vegetable oils which are almost banned in the Primal lifestyle)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • About 3-4 dl water (Depends how much liquid you want in the casserole)
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes (from a can, but buy organic)
  • 4-5 dl vegetable stock (again, depending on how liquid you want the dish)
  • 2 dl dry white wine
  • Chili powder
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Fresh Mussels (I had about 30 which was a bit much, but they were delicious so decide for yourself… how much do you love mussels?)
  • 225 g fresh cod, chopped into cubes
  • 225 g shrimp (I used pre-cooked ones. If you use fresh, make sure you keep them in the hot casserole until they are pink.)
  • 2 tbs. fresh curly parsley

Preparation:

1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot. Saute onions, garlic, bell pepper, and 2 tbs. of the water over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Stir frequently.

2. Add tomatoes, the rest of the water, vegetable stock, wine, chili powder, the dried spices, and the bay leaf. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.

TIP:

Make sure your mussels are clean before adding them to the casserole. Here’s how you make sure they are fresh (not dead): knock on the shells and throw out the ones that do not close tightly immediately. After boiling, throw out the mussels that have not opened.

3. Add the mussels and let it simmer for a minute or two. Add the cod and the shrimp. Let is boil on low heat for 3-5 minutes, until the mussels have opened up. Take out the bay leaf. Add the fresh parsley on top of every serving.

 

Serve with a fresh side, for instance a cucumber salad. Enjoy! (This dish screams for a glass of chilled white wine on the side).

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