Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Spicy Fish Stew

Last night I made a spicy fish stew. The stars of the stew were to be scallops, the very reason for my hankering to make this dish in the first place. Also there had to be some prawns and I would see what white fish took my fancy at the fish counter.

I plumped for a swordfish steak and some haddock fillets in the end and in actual fact the swordfish was the worthy star come dinnertime. The cost of the meal was high but to offset this, the nutritional value is immense with very little fat. The dish can, of course, be embellished with a dollop of aioli and some nice bread but for the moment the health conscious version suits us.

I believe that this is the kind of dish that even my sister (whose favourites include crisp sandwiches and chicken nuggets and chips) might indulge in with some encouragement – omitting the chilli of course. Kid, here’s how to make it……

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbsp crushed dried chilli
2 tbsp paprika
100ml white wine
1 litre fish stock
3 tins plum tomatoes
10 new potatoes, cut into equal small pieces
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, inc stalks
8 scallops, without coral
1 swordfish steak, skin removed
10 prawns (I used unpeeled, tails on ones)
2 haddock fillets

- heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan
- finely chop the onion, celery, carrots and fry until soft with the garlic (8-10 mins)
- add the paprika and chilli, fry for another minute
- pour in the wine, tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, add the parsley stalks (bunched together), reduce the heat and simmer for around 45 minutes.
- meanwhile, boil the potatoes and poach the haddock fillets in milk
- add the uncooked swordfish (cut into chunks) and scallops (halved) to the liquid and turn up the heat. Allow 5 minutes then add the raw prawns.
- Assemble in layers in large bowls, haddock fillet, potatoes, vegetables, other fish then ladle the liquid over the top and sprinkle over some parsley.

Obviously stews are so hearty and warming, just perfect for cold wintery evenings. There are reports of widespread snowstorms overnight (mostly in Scotland and Northern England) so this kind of comfort in a bowl is exactly what you want to see on the menu. Tonight’s offering is beef stew courtesy of Thomas. Yum!
I forgot to take a picture so here's an homage to the fish that made it all worthwhile!

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