One of my favorite easy and healthy meals to cook is fish stew. You can really get creative with ingredients and make it as simple or as complicated as you would like. I generally opt for simple meals with few ingredients. This recipe is a fish stew with a red sauce base. The key to the flavor and fragrance is the lemon rind. Prior to this attempt, I have never used lemon rind in a red sauce. The results were delicious!
3 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
splash of olive oil
28 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, 2 tablespoons set aside for garnish
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2-3 pounds of cod or halibut fillets, cut into 1 inch pieces
24 ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce
fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
red pepper flakes for added spice, if desired
One of the keys to the flavor of this stew is the char on your bell peppers. If you’re a fan of char, you can char your peppers whole over a flame, then seed them and cut into pieces. I don’t like too much char, so I seeded and cut the bell peppers, then charged in a saute pan with no oil over very high heat. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large stock pot and add your garlic and onions. Saute for about 3-5 minutes and make sure not to burn. Add the charred peppers and diced tomatoes. Season with fresh ground pepper and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the grated lemon zest and cilantro or parsley. You can incorporate your favorite fresh herbs here if you are not a fan of cilantro.
Add the jarred marinara sauce and then simmer 10 more minutes, then add the fish. Continue to simmer until fish is opaque and cooked through. Add red pepper flakes for an added kick if desired. Serve and garnish with herbs.