Vermont is one of 27 landlocked states in the US but surprisingly wild saltwater fish is on the menu in most restaurants. It’s often on our home menu too. This is because in the Northeast, fresh fish is driven overnight from Boston harbor and arrives in our neighborhood seafood market the very next day. Next to the trout caught in any of our plentiful local waterways, this is as fresh as seafood gets, and it’s always lovely. Come mid-winter I often crave a meal that tastes like summer, light yet hearty, something with tomato, something with a bite, something like a fish stew. The following is a recipe concocted by my dearest chef, the Savvy Skillet and it’s guaranteed to satisfy everyone around your table.
This recipe does not include exact measurements, so feel free to fiddle with quantities and make as little or as much as you want. We enjoyed leftovers the following day, and decided it tasted even better! Haddock is the fish of choice for a stew, it’s typically available and possesses the right firmness, but any sturdy white fish will do. Besides fish you will need, potatoes, onions, carrots, kale, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and several spices.
Begin by drizzling olive oil into a deep fry pan. Saute diced onions. Cut either yukon gold or red potatoes into bite size pieces (leaving the scrubbed skins on) and add to the pan. Slice and add a few carrots. Give the mixture a good stir.
Push the mixture over to make a small space and drop a bit more olive oil. In this space add 1 tbsp tomato paste to lightly roast; do the same with 1 tsp dried and crushed red peppers (unless you like it hot, then add as much as you dare). After a minute or two of roasting, mix all together with your sauteing vegetables.
Add one can of stewed tomatoes. First pour in the liquid, and then mash the tomatoes right into the pan. Salt and pepper to taste, along with a sprinkle of Bragg Sea Kelp Seasoning. Add enough water so the potatoes will cook. Chop the kale finely and add. Cut your fish into chunks, 2×2 squares, and lay on top of your mixture. Cover pan and let the fish cook.
Once the fish cooks completely, remove the lid and let the stew cook down if needed. Taste, and perhaps add a pinch more salt and pepper. If you crave a richer or creamer stew, add a dash or milk or cream. You can replace the kale with any vegetables you have on hand: zucchini, green beans, even corn would work.
Ladle the fish stew into individual bowls and serve on its own or with a favorite wholegrain bread and sweet butter. Bon appetit!