Tested and Perfected by Food and Wine
Catalan Fish Stew with Pimenton Mayonnaise. Photo © Antonis Achilleos
© Antonis Achilleos

Catalan Fish Stew with Pimentón Mayonnaise

  • TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

Grating plum tomatoes for Catalan fish stew makes an instant puree. Cooking the tomato puree with serrano ham and olives adds layers of flavors to the stew.

  1. 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved crosswise
  2. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 cup bottled clam broth
  6. 4 ounces sliced serrano ham, cut into thin strips
  7. 1/3 cup pitted green olives, chopped
  8. 1 1/2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 2-inch chunks
  9. Kosher salt
  10. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  11. 1/2 teaspoon sweet Pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
  1. Using a box grater set in a bowl, carefully grate the cut sides of the tomatoes, stopping when you reach the skin. You should have about 2 cups of tomato pulp.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and half of the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until they are softened and just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato pulp and cook over high heat until it is thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the clam broth and boil until it is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the serrano, olives and halibut and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fish is cooked through and the stew is thick, about 5 minutes longer.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, using the back of a spoon, mash the remaining garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Whisk in the mayonnaise, pimentón and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Serve the fish stew in shallow bowls with a dollop of the pimentón mayonnaise.
Make Ahead The smoked-paprika mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve With Crusty bread.

Suggested Pairing

Albariño is Spain's best-known white, but there are others that belong on the table as well. One is Godello, a medium-bodied wine that has enough structure to go with this flavorful stew.