Fish stew

fish stew

Grumpy face. Got even grumpier in the few seconds after this photo was taken.

I looked at the fish pie mix in the fridge, thought about yet another fish pie and felt uninspired. This is a simplified version of a bouillabaisse.

Serves 3

1 glug olive oil

1 dessert spoon butter

1 onion, chopped

2 big garlic cloves, crushed

A few tarragon leaves, chopped (or some dried tarragon)

1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped

2 carrots, roughly chopped

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 dessert spoon tomato puree

1 pinch saffron

Salt and pepper

1 fish pie mix (salmon, cod, smoked fish)

Squeeze of the juice of half a lemon (another good reason to have a G&T later)

1 dessert spoon of butter

Melt the butter and oil and then cook the onion and garlic gently till transparent, then add the tarragon, veg, saffron, seasoning, tomato puree and tinned tomatoes (and half a can of water from the tap). Bring to the boil and then either simmer for 40 minutes or so, or slow cook (I put my in the Aga slow cooker for 3 hours). At that point, puree it, add the lemon juice and extra butter and tip in the fish, cooking till it’s tender – about 10-15 minutes.

We had ours with bread and butter.




Served 3.5 as a side dish

1 small aubergine, diced into 1cm cubes

2 medium-large tomatoes, diced into 1cm cubes

1 small onions, diced into reasonably large pieces – about 1cm cubed

1 large red pepper, diced into 1cm cubes

2 cloves garlic, crushed Olive oil

Chopped oregano – leaves from a couple of sprigs, chopped

Fry the onion and garlic till soft then add the rest of the veg, diced into equally sized pieces. I was basically aiming for the same quantity of each veg, so start with your aubergine and attempt to match. Stir through the herbs and a dash more olive oil and simmer on a really low heat for as long as you have – a couple of hours at least.

I did it in the Aga simmering oven, where, I saw on Facebook, a friend used to keep their baby lamb as a child. Either it really is a very cool oven or that baby lamb was beautifully slow cooked. Or both.

We had ours with roast lamb (which the last story makes me feel a little queasy about) and had there been any leftovers, I planned to give it to Bert for lunch with some alphabet pasta in some sort of homage to tinned seventies childhood food.