Fish Stew Recipe
Fish stew is one of my favorite 'cheat meals'. It is relatively 'clean' cheat meal, but if you drink some soda or wine with it and eat some bread, calories can increase significantly. Among many easy delicious fish recipes, this is one of my favorites.
Good fish stew starts with fish selection. Usually, I choose at least two fish species, preferably more. Also, fish can and should be mixed according to the fat content - some fatty fish with some low-fat fish. Depending on number of people and their ability to annihilate fish, for 4 hungry people, you will need at least two kilograms of fish (cleaned). At least in my family :o)
As fatty fish, I prefer her highness - eel. Take one that have at least 0.8 kg, preferably 1 kilogram. This big eel has best ratio of meat, fat and bones for this kind of meal.
To clean the eel, you have to kill her. On the fish market buy only alive eel and tell them to make a cut on her neck. This will kill the eel instantly and poor beast will not suffer. But you will - eels body can wiggle for hours after this cut, but it will ease the rest of the cleaning. Take old empty potato bag (or old newspapers - nothing can match old potato bag) and clean the eel's mucus as much as you can. Take sharp knife and clean the eel's gut.
Wash with plenty of water.
Warning: fresh eel's blood is poisonous to people, but after cooking, everything is ok.
As low-fat fish, for this stew I took sea bass and two smaller gilt-heads. Sea bass has around 0.7 kg and gilt-heads around 0.33 kg each - all cleaned.
For fish stew, cut the fish into smaller pieces - use sharp and strong knife - bigger fish can be problematic when cutting with smaller knives.
Take suitable sized pot. Put just a little bit of olive oil and heat it, but not much. Clean two onions, slice them and put them in the pot. Gently stir onions from time to time, until they are golden-brown.
When onions are golden-brown, add some garlic (fresh of course - sliced or crushed), stir two three minutes. Than add some salt, pepper, few laurel leafes, some parsley and celery leafes. Than take one carrot, slice it to small pieces and add to the mix.
Stir for few minutes, than add 2-3 spoons of concentrated tomato puree and cup of water. Mix everything well and let it cook for few minutes.
Then add some good white wine. Since you don't need much of it (0.2 dcl is enough), get some really good wine.
Put only the eels in pot and stew for 5-6 minutes. Pot should be - shaken, not stired :o)
This way eels release any excess fat - better tasting stew and eels that are not to fatty.
Add rest of the fish and add more water. Increase the heat until water starts to boil.
When water starts to boil, decrease the heat - we want water just to boil, but not much. Don't put any lid on the pot - steam should freely escape from the stew - rather decrease the heat.
Again, don't stir the stew with spoon or anything similar - just shake the pot from time to time.
After some 20-25 minutes, remove the pot from the heat.
When water stops to boil, put lid on the pot and leave it there to sit for at least 20 minutes.
That will give you enough time to prepare the table or even a side dish.
As side dish for fish stew, I preffer ordinary polenta.
Also, as side dish I often use potato salad or cooked or steamed vegetables, but polenta is my favorite.
If you eat just fish with some polenta than you have great protein plus carbohydrates meal. Fat in the stew is negligible, just some olive oil and fish fat.
To make as less damage as possible, on days when I have this kind of meal, I have breakfast, 2-3 hours later some pre-workout drink, than heavy workout, post-workout drink and then it takes me maybe hour to make such a fish stew for lunch.
It is so easy to eat more than half a kilo of fish in one sitting, plus who knows how much polenta - fortunately I don't eat bread with such meal :o)
Calories, protein, carbohydrates, fats, fibers in this meal - I don't care :o) :o)
This easy fish stew recipe is on my menu as often as my diet can accept this much calories - fish it self is ok, but polenta and other similar side dishes (for example potato salad) can increase calories significantly.