Calabrian Cod Stew
What’s better than a bowl of hot stew on a brisk fall day? Johnny and I love a good fish stew, despite the fact that I once spilled almost a whole bowl of bouillabaisse on my wool sweater when we were traveling. We had to leave the restaurant and go to the store so I could buy some woolite and hand wash my sweater in the hotel sink….we managed to get the fish smell out eventually, and I still love to eat fish stew.
I’ve tried Cioppino, Bouillabaise, Provençal and this stew is similar in the fact that its hearty and full of tomatoes, wine, and garlic. This was born out of what was in the kitchen and gets a ton of complex flavor from the Calabrian chilis. The chilis are smoky, spicy, and sweet. It comes together in under 30 minutes but tastes like it simmered for hours because it has so many layers of flavor. The fish cooks at the end in about 5 minutes and I think you could replace cod with any meaty white fish, you could also add shrimp, calamari, mussels or whatever fresh seafood you prefer.
What you need:
1 tbsp butter
1 celery stalk
1/2 a yellow onion
1 peeled carrot
4 cloves of garlic
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a delicious Pouilly Fusse)
14.5 oz can of unsalted tomatoes
14.5 oz can of cannellini beans
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
5 Calabrian Chilis from a jar packed in olive oil, sliced (make sure to keep the seeds)
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1 tsp capers
1 tbsp ketchup (hear me out, I stopped buying tomato paste years ago….you use a tsp and then the can sits in your fridge for weeks and you eventually throw it out. Ketchup has a strong concentrated tomato flavor and adds a subtle sweetness to recipes. Trust me)
1 lb of fresh cod, sliced into large chunks
Begin by gently warming your butter and olive oil in a pot and adding chopped onion, celery, carrot and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sweat the veggies and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add your parsley and garlic. Stir the garlic and veggies frequently so as not to burn the garlic and after about 1-2 minutes when the garlic starts to smell very fragrant add your white wine. Now add the tomatoes, chilis, olives, capers, and ketchup. Let this all come to a simmer. Simmer for medium/low about 15 minutes. Add your beans and cook another 5 minutes. Lastly, stir in your cod and allow about 5 minutes to cook through. A little drizzle of the oil from the chili jar is a great addition at the end. Enjoy.