One of my favorite Colombian dishes is Seafood Cazuela. This dish is typical of the Colombian Caribbean and Pacific. Every place has its own way of making it and I want to share with you how I make it here in Germany. It is called "cazuela" because of the container where it is cooked and served, generally a deep dish made of clay - like the one in the picture -. In Colombia, in restaurants, it is normal that you get the dish still bubbling because it is still cooking, and some cazuelas can be served au gratin with cheese.
The most important thing in this recipe is to make the base, so that the cazuela has a characteristic flavor. In this case, the "fumet" or fish stock is made. I know that this is a step that many of us can find too boring but this way the dish will taste even better. With time ahead I keep in my freezer fish heads that I have used, as well as shrimp shells and other seafood shells.
(Approx 4-5 servings)
900 gr of pre-cooked seafood (squid, octopus, mussels, shrimp) you can use the ones you like
250 g of unpeeled shrimp
1 can of creamy coconut milk (no sugar added)
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of coriander
3 big grated tomatoes
3 spring onion steems
1 white onion, chopped
1 finely chopped red pepper
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
Seafood should be at room temperature.
For the fumet or fish stock:
(Vegetables are not listed above)
Peel the shrimp. In a large pot add the fish bones and heads if you have them, and the shrimp shells. To add more flavor add a halved white onion, 2 long spring onion steems, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 bunch of cilantro, 1 bay leaf. Add 4-5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for half an hour. Strain and set aside.
In a separate pot or pan sauté in oil the onions with the paprika and garlic. Stir for a few minutes and add the grated tomato. Lower the heat and let it cook for about ten minutes. Add coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes. At the end, add finely chopped cilantro to taste.
For the next step you have two options: You can blend the whole stew to add the fish broth or leave it like this, without blending. This is up to you.
Mix the preparation of the stew and coconut milk with the fish broth, add salt, pepper, turmeric and let it boil. When it boils, lower the heat to medium, and add the seafood. Stir and let it cook for another 5 minutes, correct the flavor (add more salt if you feel it is too simple).
Try not to let the seafood cook for too long because it can be overcooked, especially if it is already pre-cooked.
Serve and garnish with cilantro. You can serve with patacones, salad and a delicious coconut rice. You can see the complete recipe here.
If you notice that the Cazuela is too watery, you can add a tablespoon of cornstarch previously diluted in half a glass of water. I don't do it myself but in many places they use this trick to thicken the Cazuela.
Thanks for visiting my website! Let me know if you liked this recipe. If you want to know what else I cook on an every day basis and other details about my life in Germany follow me on my social media channels.