Dad’s Fish Stew
It’s Autumn here in New England! This brings such joy to my heart. Cool, dry weather is a welcome relief after the hot and humid summer we just suffered through. Autumn also means the beginning of hearty cooking including braising and soups. Hubs and I are trying to eat less and healthier since we almost have an empty nest. I found this fish stew recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Simply Recipes. I trolled through some other similar recipes and made a few changes. Luckily it calls for fresh tomatoes which I have an abundance of, today. Next week, maybe not with these very cool mornings. I am positive a can or two of petite-diced tomatoes (15 ounces) would be a great substitute for fresh tomatoes. It’s not a very liquidly stew, so if the can of tomatoes adds too much liquid, you can reduce it by cooking it with the lid off, reducing the water content, before you put in the fish. You could also dice a small potato and cook it in the tomato broth to thicken it. I researched other recipes, and some included a potato from the get go. I also added two squirts of anchovy paste. You don’t need to include the paste, but it did add a little something-something for me. Squirts are not a precise form of measurement and are frowned upon by Martha Stewart! (Just kidding Martha. LOVE YOU.) I felt it needed some celery for texture. I finely chopped two stalks.
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup of chopped onions
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup of fresh chopped tomato (about 2 medium)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 tsps. tomato paste
2 squirts of anchovy paste (optional)
8 oz. of clam juice
½ cup dry white wine
1-½ lb. fish fillets (I used haddock) cut into 2 inch pieces
Pinch of dry oregano, thyme, pepper and if you’re brave, Tabasco.
Heat olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over a medium high heat. Add chopped onion and celery and sauté until soft. Stir it often so it doesn’t burn. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for about one minute. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and gently cook for 10 minutes or so. I use tomato paste that is in a tube. It is so handy when you are cooking and only need a tablespoon of it. Once you open the paste, store it in the fridge. I also bought the anchovy paste in a tube and store that in the fridge.
Add clam juice, anchovy paste, wine, and fish. Simmer until the fish is cooked through, less than 10 minutes. Add seasonings. Salt to taste. When cutting the fish, cut it across the grain. It can be difficult to cut it straight across. I also did not measure precise 2 inch pieces. When it cooks it softens and falls apart a little. Life is too short to worry about precise fish pieces. The clam juice is conveniently sold in an 8-ounce bottle near the tuna fish. Who doesn’t know where the tuna is in their store?
Ladle a hearty amount into your bowl and add a side of crusty, warm bread with good butter. A little bit of heaven in each buttery bite!
Here is the original recipe. Please visit this site!