Fish Stew with Herbs
1 lb. Fresh or frozen haddock*
2 tablespoon Olive or corn oil
1 medium Onion; chopped
2 Carrots; finely chopped
1 Celery stalk plus leaves, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves; peeled, finely chopped
28 oz. Can Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup Fish or vegetable stock or
1/2 cup Bottled clam juice
1/2 cup Dry white wine
1 cup Garlic croutons
1 Bay leaf
2 Thyme sprigs
1 Strip of lemon peel
1 Sprig of fennel fronds
4 Black peppercorns
Chopped fresh fennel or
Chopped fresh parsley
*Or perch or cod
To make the garlic croutons, cut crusts from thick, day-old bread. Cut bread into large cubes. Spread a cookie sheet with garlic oil – either oil in which whole garlic cloves have been steeped, or oil that has been heated gently with a cut garlic clove, pressing on clove to release oils. Toss croutons in the garlic oil, then bake at 400 F., turning often, 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.
If frozen, unwrap fish and allow to stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft enough to cut. With a sharp knife, cut into 2″ cubes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add prepared onions, carrots and celery and sauté, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté another 1 or 2 minutes. Add tomatoes (and their juices), stock and wine.
Tie bouquet garni spices in a cheesecloth bag and attach with string to pot handle for easy removal. Place in tomato-wine mixture and let come to a boil, uncovered. Boil 5 to 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low.
Add fish cubes and cover pot. Simmer 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Serve on top of garlic croutons in heated bowls, garnished with chopped fennel or parsley.
Yield: 4 to 5 servings
From Nancy Enright’s Canadian Herb Cookbook