If you look up “Blue Cruise”, also known as Blue Voyage, you’ll discover the beauty of the Turkey’s southwestern coast and the magical excursions along this coast. These voyages take place on the old sponge divers’ wooden sailing boats, called gulets. Usually there’s the captain, a cook and one other crew member on these boats that accommodate about 12 passengers. You get together with very close friends or family members and arrange a cruise. First time you go on a blue voyage you are amazed every day and you keep telling yourself “this is life, why complicate it”. After the first time, you are hooked, looking forward to the next opportunity to do it all over again. One of the favorite foods on the menu without a doubt is fish stew. I watched our master cook Cemil Dayi (uncle Cemil) to write down the recipe, only to find out there was nothing to it, that simple!
It is a very simple but delicious dish. Pretty much you start with fresh fish and add a bunch of fresh ingredients to it, let them simmer for a while on low heat and you have a very tasty fish stew. So good that you’ll dip your last bit of bread into its sauce until the pot is wiped clean.
4 pieces of seabass about ¼ lb each
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions
6-8 cloves of garlic
2 red bell peppers
4 sweet chili peppers
4 medium size tomatoes
4-5 dry bay leaves (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot put olive oil. Peel and slice the onions and place them in the pot. Put pieces of fish over the onions. Peel and cut garlic cloves in half, add to the pot. Core and slice all peppers lengthwise. Slice tomatoes and lemons (do not peel). Place peppers, tomatoes over the fish. Add lemon slices on top. Add bay leaves (optional). Add salt and pepper to taste, cover with a lid. Place over medium heat. After it starts to boil, reduce heat to minimum. Let it simmer, about 1 hour.