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This recipe is adapted from a Food & Wine Annual Cookbook for 2012. It has wonderful layers of flavor. They suggest a medium bodied Spanish white wine to accompany the dish.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs plum tomatoes, halved crosswise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup bottled clam juice
- 4 ounces serrano ham, sliced and cut into thin strips
- 1⁄3 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 1⁄2 lbs halibut fillets, cut into 2-inch chunks
- kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika (preferably Pimenton de la Vera)
- Carefully grate the cut sides the the tomatoes, stopping when you reach the skin. This should produce approximately 2 cups of tomato pulp.
- In a large deep skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the onion and half of the garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown (about 6 minutes). Add the tomato pulp and cook over high heat until thickened (about 5 minutes). Add the clam broth and boil until it is reduced by half (about 5 minutes).
- Add the ham, olives, and fish and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fish is cooked through and the stew is thick. (about 5 minutes).
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, or a mortar and pestle, mash the remaining garlic to a paste along with a pinch of salt. Whisk the mayonnaise into the garlic paste along with the paprika and the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Serve the stew in shallow bowls with a dollop of the mayonnaise and crusty bread.