Tag Archives: fish

Fish stew to eat with a spoon

There are fish stews, and there are FISH STEWS. This, is one of the latter. Do not muck around. Eat with crusty bread to dip in, and a spoon to get all the sauce. plateful 27-4-14Serves 4
4 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced garlic clove - close-up 27-4-142 tsp fennel seeds, roughly ground
1 red chilli, remove the stalk, halved and de-seeded red chilli - close-up 27-4-14a2 pinches of saffron
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 x 400g times of plum tomatoes
500ml water or fish stock
600g new potatoes, cut into 2-3 cm chunks peeler - close-up 27-4-14900g fish [we used a combination of monkfish and prawns]
Optional topping [which we didn’t use]:-
100g blanched almonds
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt casserole lid 27-4-14Heat a large casserole dish over a high heat, when hot add the olive oil. Turn the heat down to medium before adding the onions, fennel, sliced and chopped garlic, fennel seeds, chilli and saffron. Season with salt and black pepper. vegetables - sweating 27-4-14Sweat the vegetables slowly in the olive oil for 15 minutes. vegetables - tomatoes added 27-4-14Add the tomatoes, breaking them down with a wooden spoon, then pour in the water/stock and the potatoes. Check seasoning. potatoes - chopped 27-4-14Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. We cooked the stew to this stage in the morning, then set it aside. We removed the two chilli halves at this stage so the stew had a gentle background chilli heat rather than being tongue-burning hot.

For the optional almond topping:-
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Put the almonds on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until they are pale golden. Roughly chop with a large chopping knife to make fairly large crumbs. Combine with the paprika and salt, and set aside.

When you are ready to eat, re-heat the casserole gently over a medium heat before adding the fish.

vegetables - monkfish added 27-4-14We cooked the monkfish in the sauce for 10 minutes before adding the cooked prawns which simply needed heating through. You will need to cook your fish according to type. prawn - close-up 27-4-14vegetables - cooked 27-4-14Spoon into hot bowls and sprinkle with the almond topping. We simply ate it with crusty bread and a spoon. bread - loaf 27-4-14

5 to remember
una cazuela – a casserole dish
el tallo – the stalk
crujiente – crusty
el fondo – the background
una cuchara – a spoon

A big fish

It’s a while since we’ve bought an entire fish, in fact our fish consumption has been reducing: upward prices, discomfort with farmed fish and how it is fed, discomfort with eating wild fish and how our consumption denudes the ocean’s fish stocks. But we saw this bonito on the slab at Mercadona and couldn’t resist. It provided fillets for four meals. fish on table 4-3-14The fishmonger gutted the fish, then my husband demonstrated his filleting skills by preparing the fish at home. the head 4-3-14First, remove the head… removing the head 4-3-14fish without head 4-3-14Then, remove the backbone… removing the backbone 4-3-14Removing the fillets is more tricky… removing the first fillet1 4-3-14removing the first fillet2 4-3-14removing the first fillet3 4-3-14Then it is simply a matter of trimming the waste off each fillet, and the skin… skinning a fillet1 4-3-14skinning a fillet2 4-3-14trimming a fillet 4-3-14On a bonito there is not much waste [below]…leftover - bits 4-3-14leftover - skin 4-3-14…and we had four fillets, ready to be cooked. Four meals for two people.four trimmed fillets on dish 4-3-145 to remember
hace tiempo – it’s a while
la pescadería – fishmonger
la espina dorsal – the backbone
la cabeza – the head
la materia de desecho – the waste matter/material