Summer holidays in Wellington: sunny one moment, southerly storming the next. A plan of a summer supper of zucchini fritters, tomato and corn salsa, and potato salad was blown away (almost quite literally) when what was a beautiful blue sky day turned into sideways rain and gales. Summer plans were scrapped: I wanted something substantial, soothing and speedy to prepare on the eve of my first day back at work of the year.
My chorizo & fish summer stew was the perfect thing to eat from bowls as we basked in the warmth of the heat pump set to more appropriate summer temperature and binge-watched a few episodes of this incredibly delightful show.
Chorizo & fish summer stew
500g Jersey Benne potatoes (or other new season waxy potato)
2-3 chorizo (check that it’s gluten-free if that’s a concern for you)
an onion, sliced
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a red capsicum
a bunch of silverbeet
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan and ground in a mortar and pestle
1/2 cup white or pink-hued wine (I used some leftover rosé)
a can of whole peeled tomatoes in juice
a large handful of green beans
300g firm-fleshed fish (I used warehou)
a lemon, cut into wedges to serve
Place a small slosh of oil large frying pan or stove top casserole pan (for which you have a lid) and warm over a medium-high heat. Add the roughly chopped chorizo and sauté until browned. Remove chorizo from the pan and add sliced onion, stirring to thoroughly coat in the chorizo-infused oil. Add a pinch of salt and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes.
Scrub the potatoes, cut into halves or quarters, and place into a medium-sized pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Don’t overcook the potatoes; as soon as a skewer can be pushed through their centres, they’re done. Drain and set aside.
Separate the silverbeet leaves from the stems. Finely chop the stems and add to the cooking onions along with the sliced red pepper and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Roughly chop the leaves and set aside to add later.
Sprinkle over the smoked paprika, ground cumin and chilli flakes, stir well, and cook for about two minutes until fragrant. Add the wine; it’ll bubble furiously and reduce down quickly, then throw in the canned tomatoes and sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer; use a wooden spoon to stir regularly and to break up the tomatoes.
Slice the tops off the green beans and cut the fish into chunks around 3-4cm in size. Once the tomato and chorizo mixture has been simmering for about 15 minutes, add the sliced silverbeet leaves and green beans. Stir to coat in the sauce, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the fish, recover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve the stew with the Jersey Benne potatoes and some wedges of lemon.