Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Tuscan Fish Stew – Food Wishes


hello this is chef john from food wishes comm with Tuscan fish stew that’s right every morning along the beautiful coast of Florence the fisherman returned from the sea to share their catch some of which is used in simple rustic garlic and herb infused dishes like this and while my grasp of Italian geography might not be that strong my fish stew game is and the recipe you’re seeing here today is very very loosely based on a trip I took to Florence over 30 years ago so with that let’s go hang get started and first up I’m gonna add some beautiful end of summer cherry tomatoes to this blender to which I’m gonna add a bottle of clam juice or you could use some fish stock if you have it but you don’t and what we’ll do is go ahead and blend this for about ten or fifteen seconds until smooth and while you can use any tomato product here I really do like to cherry tomatoes for this because they tend to be very sweet as well as having a very fragrant intense tomato flavor so those are the pros the cons would be they have seeds and very very tough skins which is why after we blend this smooth we’re gonna go ahead and pass it through a strainer because all we want is that sweet fragrant liquid and not the aforementioned seeds and tough skins which will hopefully be left behind in the strainer so we’ll go ahead and press through all that liquid and we should end up with something that’s pink foamy and borderline disturbing to look at all right so yes that does not look appetizing yet but don’t worry that color is caused by millions possibly billions of air bubbles which as you’ll see will cook out and we’re actually gonna be left with something that has quite a beautiful color and then once that set will simply reserved it until needed and we’ll move on to the rest of the ingredients most of which we will add to this cold pan right now and that will include some olive oil preferably from Tuscany we also want to toss in a little bit of onion and I’ll be using some green onions as well as a whole bunch of sliced garlic and you could if you wanted mince it or chop it but I kind of like to look in the taste of the sliced in here and it will also toss in one anchovy fillet which is basically salt with benefits and it will finish up with some hot red pepper flakes so that I don’t have to use or even mention cayenne and that’s it we’ll go ahead and take that over to the stove and place that on medium heat and we’ll wait for that to start soon and once it does we’ll cook that stirring for a couple minutes just until our garlic and onions start to soften up a little bit but we don’t necessarily want a lot of color on the garlic so we do want to be a little bit careful here okay keep in mind they’re gonna cook for another 10 minutes or so once we add our tomato broth basically all I’m doing here is checking with the tip of the spoon so I can kind of feel when those garlic slices have gone from raw and firm to something that’s just starting to get tender and then once we’ve determined our veggies that cook long enough we’ll go ahead and carefully pour in our tomato mixture and we’ll stir everything together and raise our heat to medium-high because we want to bring this up to a simmer and as this stuff comes up to temperature you’ll notice that foams gonna dissipate and that color should deepen beautifully and in a few minutes it’s gonna look significantly less disturbing and then once this mixture does start to bubble we can go ahead and back our heat down to medium and simmer this for just 10 minutes okay usually when we hear the words do we think of long cooking times this is not one of those recipes okay so we’ll adjust our heat and like I said we’ll let this simmer for about ten minutes at which point we can introduce whatever seafood we’re gonna be using which today for me is gonna be some halibut and some peeled deveined shrimp and you really can use any fish you want I mean you are after all the Poseidon of decidin but no matter what you use you gonna want to cut it in like 2-inch pieces so it cooks nice and quickly and evenly and then besides some seafood we’re also gonna need some herbs and I have a little bit of basil some Italian parsley some oregano and a little bit of rosemary which we just want a pinch up since that really can overpower things but a little bit is gorgeous in this but anyway assuming our tomato mixture has been simmering for about 10 minutes we can go ahead and transfer in our seafood and by the way if you happen to be using some very small shrimp or maybe some calamari that’s only gonna take like a minute to cook you may want to give your fish a few minutes head start but since I’m using some pretty big shrimp here I’m just gonna go ahead and add it all at once and then what we’ll do at this point is give that a nice big pinch of salt as well as raise our heat to high and then we’re gonna cover this tightly and let it cook for just like five minutes or until our fish is cooked through so not only is this a fast recipe but it’s so very easy recipe since we’re simply cooking this until our fish flakes apart and you can kind of tell when it’s getting close because that fish will kind of spring back and not feel mushy anymore and as soon as that happens we can finish this off by doing two things we can go ahead and stir in our freshly chopped herbs as well as turn off the heat and by the way we want to be a little bit gentle when we stir that in so as not to break up our fish too much and then once all that’s been stirred together and our fish is cooked through and we’ll flake apart we are pretty much done except of course given this a taste for seasoning which is something you always need to do and by the way I just realized Poseidon is a Greek god so for this let’s go with you either Neptune of testin what’s on your spoon so I check mine out and it was perfect as was the doneness of my fish which means I can go ahead and serve this up into a warm bowl which is hopefully adjacent to some nice crusty bread and in addition to making sure we have plenty of that brothy sauce for a few final touches we’ll go ahead and drizzle over a little more olive oil as well as another pinch of chili flakes and then last but not least the obligatory sprig of fresh oregano and that’s it what I’m calling Tuscan fish do is done and ready to enjoy with a spoon and nice hunk of bread and of course it doesn’t matter if something’s fast and easy if it’s not also incredibly delicious which this most certainly is okay well fairly intensely flavored the broth is very light and I think because we use those cherry tomatoes it has a beautiful freshness to it and of course since we are cooking the seafood in our broth you generally don’t have to worry about things getting dry which can be a problem for a lot of people when they try to cook seafood so to summarize a beautiful fast easy and extremely tasty method even though I don’t remember a ton from that trip thirty years ago to Tuscany I do remember being sort of surprised that they used herbs I associated with cooking meats like sage and rosemary with various seafood whether it was grilled or roasted or in a stew they were using some things I never even considered so I found it very enlightening and liberating but most importantly of all delicious so while I’m not exactly sure how authentic this is I am pretty sure it’s something you’re gonna enjoy a lot which is why I really do hope you give this a try soon so head over to food which is calm for all the ingredient amounts of more info as usual and as always enjoy you

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