Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guinea-Bissau - Fish Stew

There seems to be hope for this little country in West Africa. After civil war crushed the country’s economy and infrastructure it is now at peace after its 2005 elections. It may not be a place that’s on a traveler’s radar screen but it is the home of the rare saltwater hippopotamus and the beautiful Arquipelago dos Bijagos. These offshore delta islands offer a glimpse into a matriarchal society and you won’t be disappointed with its white-sand beaches and crystal blue waters. It is not a place, however, that is easy to get to and it will give you the feeling of being quite remote. The country, itself, will welcome you with a friendly greeting, if you’re resourceful enough to get there.

Since Guinea-Bissau is a coastal country I made fish stew for our meal. It consisted of white fish, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, green bananas, bell peppers and chili peppers. It was cooked by layering the ingredients in a large pot. It was good and easy to make.

Fish Stew

1 lb white fish fillets
1 onion, sliced into rings
6 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and sliced
3 potatoes, thinly sliced
2 green bananas, quartered
1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and sliced
1 cup oil
2 hot chili peppers, chopped

Place alternate layers of onions, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, fish and bananas in a saucepan. Season fish with salt and chopped chilies along with a drizzle of oil. Add enough water to just cover. Cook on medium heat. Shake the pot every once in a while to make sure the sontents do not stick to the bottom. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender and fish is done. It will probably take about 35 minutes.

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