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Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-22-2005, 02:50 PM   #1
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Cheap But Good Fish Stew

About 3 months ago I tried to get my monthly grocery bill down, which I found hard to do eating a lot of fish. Last week I picked up a 1# pack of frozen Alaskan Pollock.(Brand Farm Fresh, which I think is IGA house brand) I don't remember exactly, but I think it was less than $3.

I didn't really know how to deal with frozen fish, and there may be better ways, but I just had a really delicious easy meal.

Saute:
1 celery stalk
1 medium onion
2-3 large garlic cloves
1 julienned carrot

When clear, add chunks of fish. I didn't have time to thaw it, so I just used a cleaver to cut it in chunks. I transferred it to a heavy pot, added a bit of water and probably a short cup of crushed tomatoes from Trader Joe. A little more water to be sure it stays covered. Added some more olive oil cause this fish is really lean. Salt, ground pepper and whole papper corns, and a pre-mix herbal mixture from Costco called Italian Seasoning. It's a bit of everything, but heavy on oregano. It also contains some sage, thyme, marjoram, coriander, bay leaf, etc.

I stuck it in the oven at 300 for 30', stirred it, and since it was not yet bubbling gave it another 10'.

When I started eating it I realized it needed more salt, so I added a bit.

With a glass of Yellowtail Cabernet, it was sublime.

With more time, it might be best to make everything but the fish, and add some potato. When the potato is done, add the thawed fish chunks and simmer for no more than 10 minutes or so.

I guarantee you 'll be satisfied!

Mikey
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-22-2005, 02:56 PM   #2
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

Mikey - You nearly reinvented Portuguese Fish Stew! Add in some chopped clams or mussells, and/or some scallops or shrimp and/or some spicy sausage and you've got it! Its a close relative to Boulliabaise.

2 red potatoes, cut into eighths
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 ounces linguica, chorizo OR reduced-fat kielbasa, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound tomatoes, chopped
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 littleneck clams, scrubbed
8 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 pound cod fillet
1/4 pound sea scallops
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-22-2005, 03:00 PM   #3
 
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

mikey,

sounds tasty. I think you're right about the 10 minutes for the fish. Don't want to overcook it.

May I suggest the Yellowtail Chardonney for the fish accompaniment. :P
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-22-2005, 03:11 PM   #4
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

Thanks C-T and TH!

That same store sells mixed seafood for $4/#- it has lots of little octupus hunks, some small shrimp, squid, maybe some barnacles. I'll add a load of that next time.

Mikey
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-22-2005, 03:17 PM   #5
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

I've had trader joes frozen "seafood mix". Not bad if its not the primary protein ingredient as the pieces are a little smallish. Just dont cook it long or you're gonna have rubber bullets.

I've made Cioppino from it with dungeness crab, king crab or chunks of salmon as the prime ingredient. Jar of trader joes cioppino sauce, bag of seafood mix, a crab and some pasta and you've got something there...
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-22-2005, 04:30 PM   #6
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

[quote]I've had trader joes frozen "seafood mix".quote]
TH
Another Trader Joe's "taste treat" is their frozen Cioppino--we have used as menu item but found it too small--so we used as a base and added other seafood goodies directly.
Nwsteve
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-22-2005, 04:31 PM   #7
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

Quote:
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
At a cost of about $1,200 a pound, you really can't include this item in a "cheap" fish stew
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-22-2005, 05:34 PM   #8
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

Yeah, TH's stew is too advanced for me. But that kielbasa is for sure going into my next one. It's hard to get enough fat into that kind of dish. Kielbasa should solve that problem pronto! Spanish or Argentine style chorizo woiuld be even better, but I don't know where to find it.

Mikey
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-22-2005, 10:33 PM   #9
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

Hey, I've found some second rate saffron for a lot less than that, but I've found almost no benefit to saffron other than a little coloration.

I'm sure some saffron lover is really going to sock it to me, but add a quarter teaspoon of turmeric. No difference to me.

Mikey...you can make your own chorizo pretty easily. In this case I'd form it into 'meatballs' and brown them before hand. I make homemade chorize about once a month for a breakfast of chorizo and eggs with tortillas. Trust me, you dont want the commercial stuff...its made out of lips and stuff that nobody will put in a hot dog :P

And yep, I'll get some chorizo hound giving me the business over this as it aint "authentic". Tell ya what, it tastes pretty good.

2tsp each chili powder and dry oregano. Use italian seasoning if you dont have pure oregano...close enough.
1tsp each cumin and crushed red pepper flakes or whatever type and volume of heat amuses you.
1/2 cup decent cider vinegar. Dont use balsamic or anything really strong, but do get something better than that crappy white stuff.
1lb of ground turkey or pork. Pork would be closer to the real stuff, but low fat turkey and you've really cut the fat.

Mix together thoroughly, adding the cider vinegar to make the mixture like a firm meatloaf mix...but dont paste the stuff or overwork it...trick here is gentle and easy. Put in a baggie and squeeze out the air. Store in the fridge overnight.

Thats it!

The next morning, make into patties and fry, or put it through a sausage maker with a skin on it. I have one of those cheesy Ron Popeil pasta makers that also extrudes sausage and I did that a couple of times. More trouble than its worth.

My half mexican, half norwegian wife loves the stuff...
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-23-2005, 11:08 AM   #10
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

Quote:
TH
Another Trader Joe's "taste treat" is their frozen Cioppino--we have used as menu item but found it too small--so we used as a base and added other seafood goodies directly.
Nwsteve
I do the same thing...its almost enough for a light lunch. They have a bouilliabase thats about the same thing substituting a spicy broth for the spicy tomato sauce.
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-23-2005, 04:06 PM   #11
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

Made mikey's version plus turmeric and it was quite tastey. Also, didn't have any Italian seasoning, but used Herbs de Provence with extra oregano, which worked just fine. I drank the wine before dinner (Pino Grigio) and tossed a little in with the stew. I will do this again, all of it.
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew
Old 02-23-2005, 05:00 PM   #12
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Re: Cheap But Good Fish Stew

Glad you liked it Indymom

I had the leftovers for lunch, and as TH suggested I added kielbasa chunks and mixed seafood. The mix seemed to prominantly feature octopus and clams and squid. This was very good with the fish, and maybe will be my preferred form.

For tomorrow-Oysters Rockefeller. with nice fresh oysters.

And TH, I'll try the chorizo recipe. One of my favorite breakfasts is chorizo con juevos revueltos with refried beans. This is one breakfast that will get you through till lunch!

One day I looked at the chorizo package. As you said, lips. But that was only the beginning.


Mikey
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