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Taking a break, and Fish Stew

School is back in session, and that means I don’t get a lot of time to do anything. Except this week. I am on vacation this week. No, not from school, just from work. I usually work full time and take online classes year-round. But, I had a couple days of vacation to use before the end of the month, otherwise I would lose them. So, I get a random week off in January.

My plan was to relax, get schoolwork done, relax, cook/bake, and spring-clean early. So far, I’ve done schoolwork. Blah.

I did manage to whip up a fish stew I’ve been wanting to make for a while. I’ve been thinking of a tomato-based stew, something simple and comforting. Something like a recipe I saw a few months ago, but can’t remember where. Imagine- a spicy broth with delicate chunks of fish. Light and hearty at the same time.

I browsed all my cookbooks for something like what I wanted, something simple. I found nothing. You would think that somewhere within 50+ cookbooks there would be something close to what I was looking for. Nope. But, most of the recipes I saw called fennel, saffron, clams, mussels, white wine…all ingredients I didn’t have. Or was a chowder. I have fish. And tomatoes. I didn’t want a chowder. Light and hearty, remember?

So, I hit the internet, and promptly got all the same types of stews I found in my books.  I made a list of all the things I wanted and began to pillage. I visited so many sites, I can’t even remember. I bet I have one ingredient for each site…and then some.

But I got what I wanted. This stew turned out fabulous. It’s light enough to not weigh you down after, but it has potatoes so it’s filling. This would be great for Meatless Monday. Or Lenten Fridays. Fish frys can only go so far during Lent.

My only regret is not having any good bread to soak up the last spoonfuls of broth. I had to slurp.

Fish Stew

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 28oz can, or 1 quart home canned, tomatoes and their juice, crushed
  • 1 c tomato sauce
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c dry red wine
  • 2-2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1/4 c chopped green olives (use what you like)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 2 lb firm-fleshed fish, cut into 2″ chunks (I used tilapia)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil in large pot. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, sauce, water, wine, potatoes, olives, and herbs/spices. Bring to a boil, cover and turn heat down. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add fish and simmer 8-10 minutes more, or until fish is cooked through. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with crusty bread.

Served with a vinegary slaw

This recipe is so simple. It really takes less than an hour from start to finish, making it a good weeknight meal.



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