Cooked white rice as a base for the stew.
1. Combine the chopped garlic, chiles, cilantro, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and a good pinch of salt in a small food processor. Pulse and process, scraping down the sides as you need to, until you’ve made a smooth paste. I call this my Cilantro Pistou…it is aggressive in flavor and spice. Don’t be afraid to make a little extra as this carries the seasoning to the stew.
2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the paste into a small bowl and add the shrimp. Toss to coat the shrimp well, cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to marinate. Do the same to the cubed salmon, pollack and scallops. Scrape out the rest of the paste into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve alongside the stew.
3. Heat a large cast iron pot over high heat. Add remaining olive oil, celery, carrots and onion and cook, stirring often for 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the sliced garlic, ginger, Colombo Spice and turmeric. Cook until the curry aroma is rich. Stir in the tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf and season with liquid aminos. Cook for another 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the fortified clam juice and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop.
4. You can prepare the stew up to this point in advance. I prefer to do this the day before so I can allow the complex flavors to develop. When you’re ready to serve it, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, then bring back to a boil.
5. Add the shrimp, scallops and fish to the stew and bring to a light simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. The heat within the pot will finish cooking everything through.
6. To serve, spoon a large mound of cooked rice into a heated bowl, ladle the stew over the rice and add a good spoonful of the cilantro paste to each. Garnish with lime, cilantro and chopped scallions.
FORTIFIED CLAM JUICE
In a medium sauce pot combine the shrimp shells, vegetable scraps that you may have accumulated during preparation (onions, celery, garlic…etc) and the clam juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing down on the solids to extract as much flavor as you can.