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Casting a Wide Net

NOTE: Preserved lemons are available at Mediterranean markets as well as some grocers such as Whole Foods.

Per serving: 532 calories, 42 gm protein, 28 gm carbohydrates, 28 gm fat, 74 mg cholesterol, 5 gm saturated fat, 1202 mg sodium, 4 gm dietary fiber

(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).

Brazilian Fish Stew

(Moqueca de Peixe)

6 servings

This simple stew, native to the coastal Brazilian province of Bahia, is creamy and looks a bit like a fish curry, with just a faint coconut flavor.

The signature ingredient is dende, an African palm oil with a musky flavor. It leaves a telltale yellow color in food, a bit like saffron or turmeric.

If you like, add shrimp or lobster to this stew. Serve with white rice.

For the marinade:

2 1/2 pounds sea bass (or other thick white fish, such as cod) cut into about 24 large pieces

Juice from 1 lime

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the stew:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped fine

1 green bell pepper, diced small

1 red bell pepper, diced small

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 cups coconut milk (preferably Brazilian)

2 tablespoons dende oil (may substitute peanut oil, although the flavor will not be quite the same)

Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro and parsley leaves for garnish

For the marinade: Place the fish in a large shallow bowl, squeeze the lime juice over the top, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for no more than 1 hour while you prepare the rest of the stew.

For the stew: In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are nearly translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the cilantro and parsley and cook another minute or so. Add the tomatoes with their juice, increase the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables begin to steam. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste. Add the marinated fish, stir and cover the pot until the fish is just cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Remove the lid from the pot. Add the coconut milk and increase the heat to medium. Drizzle the dende oil over the top.

To serve, ladle the stew into wide, shallow bowls and garnish with cilantro and parsley.

NOTE: Dende oil is not widely available in the United States. Locally, check groceries that specialize in Brazilian or African foods, such as Brazilian Market in Wheaton, European Market in Rockville, A&H Seafood Market in Bethesda and European Foods in Arlington, or order online at www.Sendexnet.com.

Per serving: 504 calories, 38 gm protein, 13 gm carbohydrates, 34 gm fat, 77 mg cholesterol, 20 gm saturated fat, 468 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber

Ed Bruske last wrote for Food about long-cooking green beans.

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