Monday, May 03, 2010

Recipe for Spicy Red Fish Stew

Spicy Red Fish Stew

In my family room I have a huge collection of food magazines going back about 15 years, mostly Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Fine Cooking, with some assorted issues of other publications. My magazines are arranged by month, and when a new month starts, I love to look at the past issues for that month to see what recipes the magazines were featuring at that time of year. It's been cold and rainy in Salt Lake for a few weeks now, so when I looked at the magazines for May, this recipe for Spicy Red Fish Stew from Bon Appetit, May 2004, was the one that jumped out at me.

I used two small pieces of cod for the fish in my stew, but you could use halibut or even thick pieces of tilapia as well. The original recipe had freshly-roasted red bell peppers, but even with the roasted red peppers from a jar that I used, this was spicy and delicious, and it made a lovely quick dinner on a rainy night.

Saute the red onion or shallots in olive oil until they're soft and starting to brown.

Add diced roasted red peppers, canned diced tomatoes with juice, finely chopped fresh garlic, and red pepper flakes, and simmer 10 minutes. (I used spicy Aleppo pepper, but any type of red pepper flakes would work.)

Cut the fish into pieces about 1 inch square, and blot dry with paper towel if needed.

While the pepper-tomato mixture simmers, zest a lemon and chop the cilantro.

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and some of the chopped cilantro to the mixture.

Then add the fish pieces and stir just enough so the fish is gently combined in the mixture.

Let stew simmer about 5-7 minutes after you add the fish, just long enough for fish pieces to start to look opaque and until you can see a small amount of liquid from the fish being released into the stew mixture. Serve hot, with additional chopped cilantro if desired.

Spicy Red Fish Stew
(Makes 2 generous servings, recipe can easily be doubled. Adapted from Spicy Red Fish Stew by Meriel McDonald for Bon Appetit Magazine, May 2004.)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion or shallot
1 T olive oil
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
1 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper; use more if you like it spicy)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (plus more for garnish if desired)
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
8-10 oz. cod, halibut, or tilapia fillets, cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

(For best results with this recipe, use a small frying pan with high sides so the fish pieces will be surrounded by liquid when you add them. I used an 8 inch pan.)

Heat olive oil in small frying pan, add chopped red onion or shallot and saute over medium heat about 3-4 minutes, until onions are soft and starting to brown. Add chopped red bell peppers, diced tomatoes with juice, finely minced fresh garlic, and red pepper flakes. Let mixture simmer 10 minutes over medium-low heat, until garlic is cooked and flavors are well-blended.

While stew mixture simmers, zest and juice the lemon, and chop the cilantro. Cut fish fillets into 1 inch pieces and blot dry with paper towel if needed.

Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro to stew mixture, then add fish pieces and gently stir to combine. Let stew simmer 5-7 minutes or until fish is barely turning opaque and some liquid from the fish is being released into the stew. Stir again, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot, with additional chopped cilantro for garnish if desired.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This stew with low-glycemic red bell peppers, tomatoes, and fish is a perfect main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Serve with a side dish like Crunchy Cruciferous Chopped Salad for phase one. For phase two or three, you could add some 100% Whole Wheat Bread.

More Ideas for Fish Stew:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Cioppino from The Perfect Pantry
Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew) from Simply Recipes
Nigerian Fish Stew from Field to Feast
Mediterranean Fish Stew from Closet Cooking
Burkina Faso's Fish Stew from Morsels and Musings
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)counter customizable free hit
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  1. The fish stew looks fantastic. Glad it turned out to be a winning recipe.

  2. That looks like a delicious variation on my usual fish soup. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. I've never made a fish stew, and this sounds wonderful. I love the vibrant red color. (Would also love to explore your collection of cooking magazines! Wish mine were as organized.)

  4. Thanks guys, I really did like this, and it was my first time making fish stew as well (except for the time I made Cioppino with Lydia!) TW, I love having the magazines organized by month but always working on keeping them that way!

  5. The stew looks delicious! I like to do the same thing with my magazines - although Grumpy is always after me that I have too many. I think he's crazy.

  6. HoneyB, oh no, never too many cooking magazines!

  7. This is a great pantry meal; except for the fish, most everything else is a pantry staple. And hats off to anyone who keeps their cooking magazines so organized -- mine are in piles!

  8. I love fish stew and this looks amazing!

  9. You have inspired me to go organize my food magazines . . ., I'm off to my SIX FOOT TALL stack right now - Thanks once again, Kalyn!


  10. looks yummy! love the color of the curry...

  11. This stew looks great, I have never tried fish stew before, but I love spicy foods, and this would be a great one for me.

  12. I'm definitely bookmarking this one - it sounds like the perfect soup to enjoy when soup cravings hit in the summer!

  13. That red is beautiful! Hats off to you for being so organized with all your recipes! I have books and clippings lying all over the place. How do you organize all your recipe clippings?

  14. Spicy fish stew for me too! I always love how tomatoes and spice work together.

  15. I rarely cut out recipe clippings, so I'm afraid I don't have any secrets for organizing those! (I do usually have a stack of recipes I've printed from the web sitting by my printer all the time and those don't seem to get organized!)

  16. A georgous & stunning dish, dear Kalyn!!


  17. Just made this with mahi mahi and it was delicious!

  18. Priddycy, so glad you liked it!

  19. Kalyn, I love this recipe & have made it many times. It's a fresh-tasting summer way to get in a meal of fish, with none of the "baddies" involved. I use whatever is wild caught USA, & maybe on special -- usually cod. Had it again tonite, so I had to let you know.

  20. Silverspoon, so glad you like the recipe so much. I think cod is a great choice for this (wish I could get fresh cod here, but frozen cod is pretty good in it too!)

  21. I just made this last night (my first fish stew ever), and of course I made it mine by adding clam juice and saffron, and omitting the cilantro (cause I didn't have any!). It was DELICIOUS!!! The lemon zest really shines, thank you so much for being there with this recipe when I googled 'fish stew'!

  22. This was sooooo good. I have not been led astray by any recipe on this blog yet, thank you Kalyn. I didn't have fish, but I made it with a mix of shrimp, scallops, and calamari rings from Trader Joe's and it worked just fine.

  23. I love the sound of this with the seafood you used. I do try to test the recipes thoroughly before I post one; glad they have been working for you!

  24. Fantastic recipe! The lemon really makes this dish, for me.

  25. Anna, thanks! I love lemon in any dish.

  26. Oh. Mygosh. This was stellar. And SO easy - a real 30 minute meal. I would make this again and again. We served this with some crusty bread and your lemony roasted cabbage. It was a lot of lemon for one meal but that was quite OK by us and let us make use of a whole lemon at once. We used roasted red peppers but I saw the store had roasted yellows as well.

  27. Tara, so glad you enjoyed it! (And I'm fantasizing about how pretty this would be with a combo of red/yellow peppers!)

  28. I made this stew tonight and it was so flavorful and delicious. The lemon and cilantro really made the flavors pop. I love soups that have lots of flavor even before you add salt! The only change I made was to add some celery with the onions in the beginning. I also added some water because it was quite thick. Thanks for posting.

  29. Could you make this with fresh tuna, or would the flavors not be right..?

  30. If you're lucky enough to have fresh tuna, I think it would be delicious in this. If the pieces are thick, I think the cooking time might be slightly longer. I'd just test a piece to see when you think it's done.


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