- Thinly slice 2 of the garlic cloves and set aside. Cut the remaining clove of garlic in half and rub the cut sides on both sides of the bread slices. Heat the olive oil in large sauce pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat and brown the bread on both sides; remove and set aside.
- To the same pan, add the onion and salt, adding more oil if needed. Cook over medium-high heat until onion is softened and almost translucent, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, parsley, chili pepper and saffron. Cook for about 30 seconds until the mixture becomes aromatic. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until most of the moisture is absorbed by the onions, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning. Add the white wine and simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently to deglaze the pan. Add the reserved cherry tomato juice and stock, season taste with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, season the cod/hake with salt and pepper. When the stock mixture is simmering, stir in the cherry tomatoes and reduce heat to low. Nestle seafood into the pot, making sure the thicker pieces of fish are towards the bottom and arranging the smaller pieces on the top so they are half submerged and allow to steam gently. Return to a simmer and cook very gently for about 6 minutes, or until the thickest piece of fish is just cooked (DO NOT BOIL).
To make the picada
- Crush the toasted bread in a mortar and pestle or food processor to a fine greasy breadcrumb. Add the almond butter and beat to a smooth paste. Add water and combine thoroughly.
- Gently stir the picada into the stew being careful not to break up the fish. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with additional crusty bread.
Alex Raij is half of the James Beard Finalist restaurateur team behind some of New York’s finest small restaurants. She is the Founder, Chef, Owner (with Eder Montero) of Txikito, a Basque restaurant, el quinto pino, a Tapas Bar, La Vara, an improvisational Spanish restaurant celebrating the Moorish and Jewish legacy in Spanish cuisines, and Saint Julivert Fisherie, a fish restaurant drawing inspiration from travel and ports of call. In addition, Chef Raij is also the author of The Basque Book. Get to know Alex through our Chefs. Home. Cooking. film series.