Perfectly Easy Fish Stew

AuthorAnn Gaffney
RatingDifficultyIntermediate

I love this perfectly easy fish stew. It is as easy to make as it is good to eat and is perfect for feeding a cast of thousands, at dinner parties or large family gatherings. The best thing is that the base can be made ahead of time, kept in the fridge for a couple of days until you are ready, or frozen in portions ready to turn a simple piece or two of fish into a weeknight treat. The fish in the recipe below are a suggestion, but the general rule of thumb with these things is to add the firmest, thickest fish first, ending with the most delicate, and to use mild tasting white fish like cod, hake, monkfish or halibut instead of oilier fish like salmon, mackerel or bluefish and their ilk. Here you go…..

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Yields8 Servings
Prep Time30 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr 15 mins
 ½ lb monk fish cubed
 1 pound cod fillet, cut into 6-8 pieces
 Juice of 1 lemon, divided
 Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
 2 tablespoons olive oil (Evoo)
 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
 3 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
 1 large Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
 3 red peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
 2 bay leaves
 1 ½ lbs small yukon gold potatoes halved
 1 teaspoon hot or sweet smoked paprika
 ½ cup dry white wine
 4 ripe tomatoes, diced or 1(14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
 flat leaf parsley (optional)
 1 lb mussels or small clams in the shell, scrubbed and rinsed
 ½ lb cleaned 20-24 count shrimp
Method:
1

Toss the monkfish and cod in ½ the lemon juice. Set aside

2

Dissolve the saffron threads in ¼ cup boiling water. Set aside

3

Meanwhile heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add fennel seeds let them sizzle for a few minutes until they become fragrant, then add the garlic and cook until it just starts to color. Add the onions, peppers and bay leaves. Sauté until they start to soften. Sprinkle with salt, cover and lower the heat to medium-low. Sweat for 10 minutes until the peppers are soft, and the onions a pale gold.

4

Turn up the heat to medium-high. Sprinkle the vegetables with the smoked paprika. Cook stirring for one minute. Add ¼ cup of dry white wine and cook stirring to deglaze the pan until the wine becomes syrupy.

5

Add the tomatoes’ diluted saffron and the potatoes and mix. When the tomatoes look orangey, stir in just enough water to cover the vegetables. Cook partially covered until the potatoes are ‘al dente’ soft and the tomatoes have lost most of their liquid. Taste for salt. The stew can be made ahead to this point.

6

Bring stew to a low boil. Lay the monk fish on top of the vegetables cook 2-3 minutes then add the cod and the mussels (see Ann's tip below) poking them into the vegetables. Cover. Cook at a simmer for 5 minutes or until the mussels start to open. Add the shrimp and spritz with the remaining lemon juice. Cook 2 minutes more, turn off the heat and leave stew to steam for 5-10 minutes to finish cooking the fish. Serve immediately sprinkled with a little parsley.

Ann's Tip: I prefer to cook the mussels separately over high heat with evoo, a sliced clove of garlic, a tbsp chopped parsley and ½ cup of white wine so I can shake them about as they cook. I then tip the mussels and their juices over the stew and carefully mix in

I love this perfectly easy fish stew. It is as easy to make as it is good to eat and is perfect for feeding a cast of thousands at dinner parties, or if the base is made in advance and frozen, a delicious weeknight supper for two

Nutrition Facts

Servings 8

 

Ingredients

 ½ lb monk fish cubed
 1 pound cod fillet, cut into 6-8 pieces
 Juice of 1 lemon, divided
 Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
 2 tablespoons olive oil (Evoo)
 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
 3 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
 1 large Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
 3 red peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
 2 bay leaves
 1 ½ lbs small yukon gold potatoes halved
 1 teaspoon hot or sweet smoked paprika
 ½ cup dry white wine
 4 ripe tomatoes, diced or 1(14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
 flat leaf parsley (optional)
 1 lb mussels or small clams in the shell, scrubbed and rinsed
 ½ lb cleaned 20-24 count shrimp

Directions

Method:
1

Toss the monkfish and cod in ½ the lemon juice. Set aside

2

Dissolve the saffron threads in ¼ cup boiling water. Set aside

3

Meanwhile heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add fennel seeds let them sizzle for a few minutes until they become fragrant, then add the garlic and cook until it just starts to color. Add the onions, peppers and bay leaves. Sauté until they start to soften. Sprinkle with salt, cover and lower the heat to medium-low. Sweat for 10 minutes until the peppers are soft, and the onions a pale gold.

4

Turn up the heat to medium-high. Sprinkle the vegetables with the smoked paprika. Cook stirring for one minute. Add ¼ cup of dry white wine and cook stirring to deglaze the pan until the wine becomes syrupy.

5

Add the tomatoes’ diluted saffron and the potatoes and mix. When the tomatoes look orangey, stir in just enough water to cover the vegetables. Cook partially covered until the potatoes are ‘al dente’ soft and the tomatoes have lost most of their liquid. Taste for salt. The stew can be made ahead to this point.

6

Bring stew to a low boil. Lay the monk fish on top of the vegetables cook 2-3 minutes then add the cod and the mussels (see Ann's tip below) poking them into the vegetables. Cover. Cook at a simmer for 5 minutes or until the mussels start to open. Add the shrimp and spritz with the remaining lemon juice. Cook 2 minutes more, turn off the heat and leave stew to steam for 5-10 minutes to finish cooking the fish. Serve immediately sprinkled with a little parsley.

Ann's Tip: I prefer to cook the mussels separately over high heat with evoo, a sliced clove of garlic, a tbsp chopped parsley and ½ cup of white wine so I can shake them about as they cook. I then tip the mussels and their juices over the stew and carefully mix in

Perfectly Easy Fish Stew

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