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Casting a Wide Net

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

(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).

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 generous pinch saffron, lightly toasted in oven, then ground in a mortar

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

About 2 1/2 pounds swordfish steaks, about 1 inch thick

For the stew:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

3 large Red Bliss potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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

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

6-ounce can tomato paste, mixed with enough water in a measuring glass to measure 1 cup puree

1/3 cup finely chopped preserved lemons*, rind and pulp (seeds removed)

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

For the marinade: In a bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients except the fish. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.

Pour half of the marinade into a large shallow dish, baking dish or resealable plastic bag, add the fish steaks, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Cover and refrigerate the unused marinade.

For the stew: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large heavy pot or Dutch oven with the oil.

Arrange the onions in a single layer in the pot. Arrange the potatoes on top of the onions, overlapping the slices slightly to create a single layer and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Scrape the marinade from the fish, discarding the used marinade. Arrange the fish on top of the potatoes. Arrange the bell peppers over the top and pour the reserved unused marinade over the top. Next pour the diced tomatoes with their juice and the tomato puree over the top. Sprinkle the preserved lemons, cilantro and parsley evenly over the stew.

Cover with the lid or create a tight cover of aluminum foil, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour, until the vegetables are softened.

Using a large metal spoon, stir the tomatoes into the top layers of the stew. Then reach down to cut through the fish steaks to get the bottom of the pot and spoon some of the stew into individual bowls, being careful to get some of each layer.

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