Fish in Tomato Sauce

In many Israeli homes, Friday night dinner is not complete without a stew of fish in tomato sauce to start the meal. This fish stew goes really well with good challah bread. There is nothing more satisfying around Shabbat table than dipping challah bread in the rich sauce and filling your mouth with it. Needless to say, this stew can be enjoyed any day of the week. Just make sure to have some good bread for dipping.

For best results, choose a slightly fatty fish with firm flesh and mild flavor. Grey mullet is the ultimate fish to go with in this recipe. Unfortunately, it is not an option for me in Florida. The best suited fish I found here is corvina. Sea bass is also a possibility, although a more expensive one.

3 tbs oil
1 large onion, chopped  
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
2 medium tomatoes
1 tbs tomato paste
2 cups water
2 tsp sweet paprika
Salt and pepper
1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
2lb grey mullet, corvina, or sea bass fillet, cut into individual portions

In a large saute pan, brown the onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons oil. Add the peppers and keep sautéing for 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the tomato paste with 2 cups water, salt, paprika, and black pepper until smooth and add to the pan together with the cilantro.

Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes, to allow all flavors to combine.

Place the slices of fish in one layer in the pan and shake the pan slightly to nest the fish in the sauce.

Adjust seasoning. Cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the fish flakes when poked with a fork.

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