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Seafood Stew With Cilantro Broth
2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 yellow or white onion- diced 1 fresh green ancho chili – chopped (if you like spicy, add 2 and skip the bell pepper) 1 green bell pepper – chopped (optional) 6 cloves garlic – rough chopped 1 Tablespoon coriander 2 teaspoons cumin 4 cups chicken broth or stock 3 cups water – divided 4 cups small diced potatoes 2 cup diced carrots 2 whole bunches cilantro, including small stems 2 lbs seafood, mixed -shrimp, scallops, mussels, fish, (or sub cooked chicken, or chickpeas) 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon cracked pepper juice of 2–3 limes Garnish: cilantro, thinly sliced jalapeño, dollop sour cream, crusty bread for dipping
Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pot, or dutch oven, over medium high heat. Add onion, and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add ancho chili and bell pepper. Turn heat to medium and saute until tender about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and spices and cook for two-three minutes or until fragrant. Scrape this all into a blender and set aside. In the same pot, add 4 cups chicken broth or stock, plus 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Add the small diced potatoes and carrots and simmer over medium heat until just tender, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, add two whole bunches of cilantro to the blender, stems and all. I usually cut or twist off 1-2 inches off the stems, leaving the rest. Add 2 cups water to the blender. Bend everything until VERY smooth, at least 45 seconds! Smooth is key here! Set this aside.
Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, add all the seafood and simmer gently until desired doneness, or about 3-5 minutes ( taking in consideration, some things take longer to cook than others). When seafood is cooked to your liking, stir in blended cilantro mixture from the blender. Heat, to a gently simmer – but do not boil too long, or you will loose the lovely green color! Squeeze limes to taste – I used 2 limes. Taste and adjust salt and lime juice, adding more of each to your taste. Serve in bowls with cilantro sprigs, optional jalapeño slices, lime wedges, sour cream (optional) and crusty bread.