Salmon Moqueca

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Salmon Moqueca - salmon what?? It is pronounced mo'keka, can also be spelled Muqueca, and is originally a Brazilian recipe based on salt water fish stew that includes seafood, fish, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Those are the facts, this is my story . . .

This recipe was emailed to me, November 22, 2003, almost 14 years ago.  It is from a good friend and co-worker who loved to fish, especially salmon fishing on our local rivers.  He always had a fishing story and enjoyed trying new recipes that included his latest catch.  "Mikey" recently passed away and this recipe came to mind as I was thinking of him, so I decided to share it as a tribute to him.  

I strictly followed the recipe, which contains a couple of items I wouldn't normally include in my paleo planning, a little sour cream for thickening, and instructions for serving over rice. I didn't want to change any ingredients considering the purpose of sharing this recipe. But - it could easily be altered, perhaps thicken with some almond flour, and then serve over quinoa for a more healthy fit.  It is a tasty dish, and if you have a fisherman in your family, a good way to prepare your fish and mix it up a bit from the usual recipes. Over the years I have made Salmon Moqueca several times utilizing leftover salmon I have grilled the night before.  It's actually much easier to prepare that way, just follow the instructions for the sauce, then add the salmon to warm in the sauce for a few minutes before serving.  

This recipe lives in a 3 ring binder of special hand written and printed recipes, organized with plastic protectors that each have four pockets in them - a great way to organize those recipe cards that were handwritten by special people in your life, or in this case, printed from an email.  Save that organizing idea for a rainy day! 

Here's to Mikey . . . . 

1 pound salmon fillet with skin
2 tsp butter or olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups hot cooked rice
salt & pepper

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Rinse salmon, pat dry.  In a fry pan melt butter or oil over high heat.  Lay salmon, flesh down, in pan and brown lightly, about 2 minutes.  Turn over with a wide spatula and brown skin lightly, about 2 minutes.  Lift fish out and set on plate.

To the pan add garlic, onions, and tomato.  Stir until juices evaporate, about 2 minutes.  Add paprika and stir.  Add coconut milk and mix well.  Set fish, skin down, in sauce.  Cover pan and simmer over medium heat until salmon is opaque but still moist looking in center, 5-7 minutes, stirring sauce around fish occasionally.

With spatula, transfer fish to a platter, keep warm.  Add sour cream to pan and stir over high heat until sauce is boiling.  Stir in 2 Tablespoons cilantro and pour sauce over fish.  Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.  Serve fish and sauce over rice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.