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Casting a Wide Net

3 large Red Bliss potatoes (or other red potato), scrubbed but skins intact, thinly sliced

2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes with juice (about 20 ounces)

(Renee Comet - For The Washington Post)

The Right Fins for the Job

When recipes call for non-oily or oily fish, what do they mean?

NON-OILY FISH usually have light flesh, and their bones are considered by many cooks to be better for making fish stock than oily fish. Non-oily fish contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., less than half a gram in a three-ounce portion, cooked without added fat), beneficial in fighting against cardiovascular and other diseases. Kinds include black bass, cod, Dover sole, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, Lemon sole, monkfish, pollock, red snapper, sea bass, skate, tilapia, tuna (canned in water). turbot and whiting.

OILY FISH have darker flesh and contain greater amounts (i.e., generally 1 to 1.8 grams per three-ounce portion) of omega-3 fatty acids than non-oily fish. Kinds include eel, mackerel, orange roughy, salmon, sardines, trout and tuna (fresh).

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 bay leaves, torn in half

1 1/2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

24 small littleneck clams

2 pounds non-oily white fish cut into 1-inch chunks (I use a variety of fish, such as halibut, monkfish, red snapper and cod)

1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

Cut loaf into thick slices. Grill or broil the bread, turning once, until browned on both sides. Set aside.

In a small bowl, dissolve the saffron in the warm water. Set aside for 15 minutes. Add the wine to the saffron mixture and set aside.

Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Spread the onion slices evenly over the oil. Cover the onions with the the potatoes, overlapping the slices slightly to form a single layer.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes and their juices, garlic, bay leaves, bell peppers, cilantro and crushed red pepper flakes. Spoon 1/3 of the tomato mixture over the potatoes and season with paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

Place the clams in a single layer over the tomato mixture. Spoon 1/2 of the remaining tomato mixture over the clams and season with paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the fish evenly over the tomato mixture in a single layer and top with the shrimp. Spoon the remaining tomato mixture over the shrimp and season with paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the reserved saffron mixture over the top. Cover the pot tightly and place over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until you hear the wine bubbling. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally. Check for doneness; the fish and vegetables should be cooked through and the clams fully opened. Discard any unopened clams.

Place the toasted bread in the bottom of large, shallow bowls. Using a ladle, reach deep into the bottom of the pot and ladle some of the stew over the bread, making sure to get part of each layer into every bowl. Try to remove and discard the bay leaves as you go or warn diners if any go missing.

Per serving: 596 calories, 51 gm protein, 39 gm carbohydrates, 23 gm fat, 135 mg cholesterol, 3 gm saturated fat, 1100 mg sodium, 4 gm dietary fiber

Moroccan Fish Stew

6 servings

The ingredients in this North African fish stew strongly resemble those in the Portuguese version, and also are layered in the pot. But in Morocco, the fish is marinated first with cilantro, cloves, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne. Preserved lemon furnishes a tang that works well with a more robust fish such as swordfish.

Adapted from Clifford A. Wright's "A Mediterranean Feast" (Morrow, 1999):

For the marinade:

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

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