This is definately a jewish dish brought by the Sephardic jews, who opposed to the Ashkenazic jewws (Europe) love their food spicy.
The sephardic kitchen is a rich kitchen. I find that the whole sephardic history, culture and customs are very rich and romantic. As is the food - which is plentyful. The sephardic countries (Spain, Northern African Countries, Turkey, Greece and Middle eastern countries) are rich in sunshine and natural resources.
Fish are considered a symbol of wealth. Not only financial wealth but a type of wealth money cannot buy. Respect, close knit family and so on.
Friday night dinners will always have at least one type of fish served.
My favorite is the fish stew. It is so rich in color and flavor. The scent will make your mouth water. Almost every sephardic family has its own special "Chraime" recipe. And though I am not of sephardic roots I am lucky to have a wonderful close friend who makes the best "chraime" in the world (well, because he is the best in the world...)
Fish Stew - Chraime
2-3 white fish fillets (I have used fresh halibut, white tuna and tilapia - these are all my favorites)
1 large red pepper, cut into thick strips
1 green hot pepper (if they are terribly hot - deveine and de-seed), sliced
3-4 large garlic cloves, quartered
1 peeled lemon, no seeds so white rind - cut into chunks
handful of fresh coriander leaves
crushed dried sweet pepper
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
In a shallow pan put the red pepper, hot pepper, garlic, sweet paprika and salt. Add 1 cup water, close pan and cook over high heat for 5-7 minutes, just until peppers start to soften.
Add the fish and make sure they are covered with the sauce. Do NOT stir or you'l "break" the fish. Just kind of tilt the pan. Add the coriander and about 1/2 cup vegetable oil.
Cook over medium heat another 10-15 minutes.
Sprinkle with crushed pepper and serve immedietely with bread.
Bread here is a must!!!