Recipe : Salmon Marmitako

by Ginny on May 25, 2011

This recipe was originally published in the Juneau Empire, Sept. 13, 2009.

In this vibrantly flavored stew, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and peppers, are brought to life with a splash of sherry, a sprinkle of capers, and the magic flavoring dust known as smoked paprika. Pair this with a crisp and light-bodied white or rose wine like Sauvignon Blanc, a dry Riesling, or Pinot Gris.


  • 2 pounds salmon fillets (or tuna), skinned, boned, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced ½-inch thick
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • One 14-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Best quality olive oil, for garnish
  • 1 artisanal loaf of crusty bread

1. Sprinkle the cleaned and cubed fish with ½ teaspoon sea salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. To roast the bell peppers: Heat the broiler and cut the bell peppers into large, flat segments. Place pepper pieces skin side up on a foil-lined baking sheet in the upper ⅓ of oven. Watch closely as skins of peppers begin bubble and darken. Remove from oven when pepper skins are evenly charred, 5 to 10 minutes. Place in a small mixing bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap so the peppers can rest in their own steam. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove blackened skin and discard** (see note). Cut the roasted peppers into 1/2″ squares and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350. In a large (5 quart) roasting pan or oven-proof casserole dish, toss potatoes and onions with 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt, and spread evenly. Place uncovered in preheated oven, 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.

4. In a medium (1½ quart) sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant. Add shallot, sherry, cayenne and smoked paprika and cook 2 minutes more to allow some of the alcohol to evaporate. Add remaining ½ teaspoon salt, sugar, crushed tomatoes, diced roasted peppers and chicken broth. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes, uncovered.

5. Pour tomato mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle evenly with capers.

6. Cover and place in oven 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Meanwhile, tear the loaf of bread into serving-size pieces, brush lightly with extra virgin olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet.

7. Remove stew from oven, uncover and nestle the cubed fish evenly atop the stew. Cover and return to oven, along with oiled bread, for 5 to 7 minutes. Fish should be moist and barely opaque. Do not overcook.

8. Sprinkle stew with chopped parsley, drizzle with olive oil and serve hot in shallow bowls along with toasted bread.

SERVES 6 to 8

*Note: Our appreciation of and access to fine cheese has come a long way in the U.S. in the last decade. Both P’Tit Basque and Ossau-Iraty are now commonly available at of all places, Costco!

**Note: Rinsing roasted peppers under running water to remove the charred skin is quick, convenient, and NOT reccommended. As you rinse away the blackened skin, you also rinse away the deep, roasted flavor from the peppers. Try to resist the temptation of this shortcut, and use only your fingers and your patience instead.

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