I’m ready to eat something with a bit of a kick, now that the winds are howling and there’s wintery white stuff accumulating above 7,500 feet.
Nothing too rich or heavy though and this spicy fish stew with a touch of chili hits just the right spot. For those of you with shellfish allergies, there isn’t a mollusk or shrimp in sight – just good, white ocean fish. You can use cod, snapper or any lean white fish fillets.
I say ‘any’ but here’s a word of caution; I recently bought some unfamiliar untried white fish fillets from Costco (individually frozen), called ‘Ono’. ‘Oh, No!’ would have been more appropriate. Not only was the raw fillet tough to cut through but once cooked it had the consistency of my old school eraser, with a rather unpleasant taste to boot. In fact it was just like chewing an old boot.
So, if like me you’re keen to experiment with new things, ‘caveat emptor’ when faced with a bag of Ono from Costco. I wouldn’t feed it to my cat if I had one.
Anyway, back to the recipe; as usual, it’s easy to assemble and takes about 40 mins in total. Like all soups and stews, it’s even better on day two and all you’ll need is some warm chunky bread served on the side.
I’ll be posting the best ever (in my opinion) New England clam chowder recipe soon – the ultimate comfort soup for clam fans!
SPICY FISH STEW
1 ½ tablespoons of extra-v olive oil
2 cups of diced onion
¾ cup of diced green bell pepper
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 cups of small red (or white) potatoes, halved or cut into equal sized chunks
1 ½ cups of diced canned tomatoes
1 ½ cups of bottled clam juice
1 cup of dry white wine
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
½ teaspoon of sea salt
A good grind of black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 ½ lbs / 680g of cod or other lean white fish cut into chunks, approx 1 x 3 inches / 2.5 x 7.5 cm
2 tablespoons of dry sherry
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
In a heavy pan/cast iron casserole, heat the oil then add the onion, green bell pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes; sauté gently until soft.
Add everything else except the fish, sherry and parsley. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender.
Carefully stir in the fish and sherry – cook a further 12-15 minutes over low heat or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Check the seasoning, add the parsley and serve – or make ahead and re-heat gently.