Thursday, 19 January 2012


Ideal for a cozy fireside evening, this Cioppino (fish stew) really needs no embellishment. It’s a deliciously perfect one pot dish. And it has the added benefit of buoying up those annoying New Year’s resolutions, whatever they may be! However, I did have gorgeous fingerling potatoes lingering in the fridge (the dreaded lingering fingerling) and wanted to use them up. I considered adding them directly to the fish stew, but didn’t want them losing their distinctive shape. So, I cut them in wedges and roasted them with olive oil and herbs.
For serving, I placed some of the tender crispy potato wedges on the bottom of the bowl and spooned the Cioppino atop. This proved to be quite the clever idea, if I say so myself. Roasting the potatoes added a depth of flavour to the stew you wouldn’t get by merely adding them to the liquid to cook. Also, they provided a great deal of interest at the bottom of the bowl. Or, you could simply serve them on the side and use them as dippers. (We did both! Food decisions not being my strong suit).

¼ olive oil
1 large white onion, minced
1 large red onion, minced
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Pinch of dried chile flakes
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
11/2 cup white wine
1 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes
3 cups fish stock (substitute chicken or vegetable stock if necessary)
1 pound large shrimp
1 pound haddock, large dice (may substitute any firm white fish)
Oven wedges for serving, if desired (highly recommended)

Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Heat the oil and add onions, oregano, thyme, chiles, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until onions begin to soften and brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and sauté until beginning to brown. Pour in wine and reduce to about half. 
Add tomatoes and stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour. 
Add the haddock for about one minute, then add the shrimp. Simmer just until shrimp begins to turn pink. About 2-4 minutes. 
Serve over oven potato wedges with a big, crusty loaf of bread on the side!

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