The contributor obtained this recipe from her husband’s grandmother, Ermelinda Amaral. She in turn got it from her mother, Anna Pacheco, who was a caterer in So Miguel, Azores. Anna was a widow who supported a family of twelve and eventually managed to send all of them to the United States – bringing the final three, including Ermelinda, to Martha’s Vineyard in 1889. The stew has an exotically sweet, spicy flavor. Serve it over rice, or add 2 cups of fish broth and present it as a soup with crusty rolls.
In a large saucepan or nonreactive Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the fish and other seafood, if using. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook for about 1 hour. Taste and adjust the seasoning.