Recipe by Steve P.
The Caribbean coast of Guatemala has a wealth of fresh fish and coconuts. This dish, which frequently contains a wide variety of seafood, including squid, crab, shrimp, red snapper, sea bass, or mako shark, is an expression of this natural bounty. Achiote, also known as annatto, is a red-orange vegetable dye used to color dishes throughout Latin America.
- 2 cups coconut milk (fresh)
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 2 lbs red snapper fillets (or bass, or tilefish)
- 1 lb medium shrimp
- 1 tablespoon corn oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon achiote (also called annatto) (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper (fresh ground )
- 1 medium banana
- 1 medium tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves (minced)
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups grated fresh coconut
Directions See How It's Made
- Make the Coconut Milk : In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart saucepan bring water to a boil and add coconut. Cook coconut over moderately high heat 2 minutes and remove pan from heat. Let mixture stand, covered, 10 minutes. In a food processor or blender blend coconut mixture until very thick. In a fine sieve set over a bowl strain coconut mixture, pressing hard on solids. Working over bowl, squeeze small handfuls of solids to extract as much milk as possible. Coconut milk keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days or frozen in an airtight container 6 months.
- Peel and thinly slice the onion (1/2 cup).
- Core, seed, and cut the bell pepper into 1/4-inch strips.
- Cut the fish fillets into 2-inch pieces. Peel, rinse, and devein the shrimp.
- Heat the corn oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and red pepper and.
- sauté over medium heat until softened, about 1 minute.
- Add the Coconut Milk, oregano, achiote, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring liquid to a boil and then simmer over low heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the fish and the shrimp and simmer until seafood is just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Peel and cut the banana into 1-inch slices. Cut the tomato into 1-inch dice.
- (3/4 cup) and add it to the soup along with the banana. Simmer the soup.
- until the banana and tomato are just cooked, 5 minutes. (You can cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.).
- To serve reheat the soup if made in advance. Stir in the cilantro.