24/04/2012

Cotriade

Breton fish stew!

I could get all regional about this and do it perfectly, but in the end, this is a simple and fun excuse to bung all the fish and shellfish you can find into a pan and pour cream over it!

Normally, this would not contain shellfish, have some more exotic ingredients like eel in there, but I love shellfish and that's a good enough reason to include them. Shellfish are packed full of great micronutrients.

So, first, get some fish - I had salmon, smoked cod and pollock; shellfish - squid, scallop and prawn. Any will do, of course.

Next, cube up a potato and a carrot. I guess any roots will do, but would advise against sweet potato since it sogs too readily. Heck! Why not ... cube a sweet potato; it'll go with the rest of the ingredients.

Get these boiling away in some fish stock since the actual stew will come together quite quickly.

Chop a load of herbs - this is a herby dish! I went for thyme, chive, wild garlic and dill.

Chop some onion, leek, regular garlic and a few green things - asparagus is the obvious one, but green beans, even peas will do fine.

To the cooking ...

Warm some beef dripping, coconut oil or some good butter in a heavy based lidded pan and get some of the shellfish cooking through until they're coloured.

Toss in the onions and leek, splash some Pastis, Vermouth, maybe Gin ... or just water in for a little steam and pop the lid on to soften the onions.

Lid off (enjoy the steam), toss in the fish and just warm through.

Sprinkle some turmeric over. Usually, use saffron for the colour, but there are good medicinal qualities to turmeric and the colour is deeper - I prefer it. Fold into the fish.

Scatter the wild garlic, chives and thyme over. Fold into the fish.

Pour over the cubes of softened vegetables with the remainder of the fish stock and toss in the asparagus.

Pour in some heavy cream. How much? Enough! This is a rustic dish and does not need measuring cups.

Warm through and serve out into wide-brimmed bowls, grinding some freshly milled black pepper and scattering a good quantity of dill over. Enjoy!

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