Firstly a photo of an amazing beetle, sent to me by an Africam friend, BigFrank. Africam was my first “home” on the www, my first introduction to message boards, live chat and virtual community. I am still a member of some lists that grew out of that experience. Some of the community hang out here now (where the live chat is now hosted).
I love how the design (by the Great Designer) reminds me of African masks. For those of you who don’t know, I was born in South Africa and spent my first 29 years there. We have a collection of African masks on our stair landing, bought on various trips to South Africa, subsequent to our emigration to Australia.
OK, I typed all that and re-read and realised that Ruby Red has to one of your OWN photos that contains red.
So… deep breath… start again, Wendy…
I made a wonderful fish recipe a couple of weeks ago, and photographed the process. The dish is called Romesco de Peix and is amazingly easy to make but has a complexity and richness of flavour. It’s a Catalan fish stew named after the Romesco (nut) sauce. It’s from Moro by Sam and Sam Clark. We were taken to lunch there in 1999 by English friends, Liz and John. I still remember my first introduction to patatas bravas!
Romesco de Peix (fish stew with peppers, almonds and saffron)
6 TBS olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 dessertspoons finely chopped rosemary
3 bay leaves, preferably fresh
2 red peppers (capsicum), quartered, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
400g tin diced tomatoes
150ml white wine
100ml hot fish stock (I used vegetable stock)
50 saffron strands, infused in 4 TBS boiling water (I didn’t count them!)
150g whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted and roughly ground (I used my Bamix to grind them)
650g firm fish fillets, cut into chunks (I used blue eye cod)
500g clams, rinsed (you can use any combination of fish, mussels, prawns and clams)
sea salt and black pepper
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and sweet, about 20 minutes.
Now add the garlic, rosemary, bay and red pepper. When the pepper has softened for at least 10 minutes, add the paprika and the tomatoes.
Simmer for another 10 minutes, then add the white wine and allow the alcohol to bubble away for a couple of minutes before adding the stock and the saffron-infused water. Finally thicken with the almonds and taste for seasoning.
When you are almost ready to eat, add the fish and the clams, put the lid on and simmer until the fish is cooked through and the clams have steamed open (about 5 minutes). Serve with new potatoes and/or a raw fennel salad.