Lobster and Sea Bass Moqueca Stew
- 2 bunches fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 bunches fresh parsley leaves
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 10 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 6 onions, chopped
- 4 green peppers, seeded and chopped
- 3 tablespoons salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 bunches spring onions, finely sliced
- 6 limes, halved
- 2 large whole sea bass, cleaned
- 2 large lobsters, halved
- 5 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 pint coconut milk
- 1/2 ladle dende oil, optional* (about 4 tablespoons)
Roughly chop nearly all of the cilantro and parsley, reserving a little of each for garnish. Place the cilantro, parsley, garlic, tomatoes, onions, peppers, salt, pepper, and most of the spring onions (reserve some for garnish) into a large heavy bowl. With a pestle, mash together all ingredients, gradually squeezing in the lime juice.
Score the sea bass diagonally 3 times on each side. Stuff some of the vegetable-herb mixture into the slits and the inside of each fish and close back together. Cover the lobster halves with the vegetable-herb mixture, reserving about half of the vegetable-herb mixture for later.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the sea bass and lobster, flesh side down in the hot pan. Cook for 2 minutes, and then pour over the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. After another 2 minutes, turn over the fish and lobster. Add the remainder of the vegetable-herb mixture, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the fish and lobster are tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
Transfer to a large serving dish and sprinkle with remaining cilantro, parsley, and spring onions. Ladle dende oil, if using, in a slow circular motion over the top.
*Cook's Note: Dende oil is an African palm oil that is widely used in the Brazilian state of Bahia and is difficult to obtain elsewhere. The dish is just as delicious without it.
Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy of Aldaci Dada Dos Santos, 2003