Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 1, 2009 11:09 AM

Quick recipe help for easy fish stew

I am at my grandparents with a very ill grandfather. A lot of family are in to visit. I need to do something, so I am in charge of an easy dinner. they live in a pretty rural area, so I am limited to what they have on hand here and what I can get at the local grocer. They have some nice looking fish and shrimp in the freezer, so I thought I would make a quick fish stew. And really easy recipes that don't require any special ingredients. I won't be able to get saffron or leeks or shallots or any good white wine.

I was thinking of just sauteeing some onions and garlic, adding some clam juice or chicken stock, canned tomatioes and the seafood. Is that going to be any good?

Or any other ideas that I could do with the shrimpp and fish ( it looks like haddock fillets).

Thanks guys. I can't sit around much longer and thought the litchen would be a change of pace.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. An easy ciopinno made from your likely ingredients (small town?):

    Saute on low 2 onions (or 1 onion and some shallots if you have them), salt, and 4 minced cloves of garlic (or to your taste) until translucent around the edges. Push aside the onion mixture and add about 1T of tomato paste in the cleared area. Cook until beginning to brown or you smell the tomatoes. Add to the pot, 1 can of whole tomatoes diced (or a can of diced), 1 or 2C of a dry white wine, 5C of fish stock (with low or no sodium), a bay leaf, thyme and crushed red peppers to taste (or not). Simmer for 20 minutes, then add large bite sizes of firm-fleshed fish. When the fish starts to become done around the edges (1-2 minutes), add the shrimp (can be frozen) and watch until they turn pink. S&P and ready to serve. You can add almost anything from the sea in this recipe (clams, crab, lobster, scallops, etc). Serve with garlic toast.

    Good luck!

    6 Replies
    1. re: alwayscooking

      If there's celery around, it would fit in nicely with alwayscooking's cioppino, as would Old Bay Seasoning, and could be served over rice if it needs stretching.

      1. re: alwayscooking

        Ditto to always cooking ... my exact, chicken broth if now fish stock any white or red wine, or just more stock, even water will work, peppers fine chopped, onions, celery if you have itscallions if you have them or just onions are fine. Add as many fresh veggies as you have, broth and let simmer. Add the seafood in at the end. Even with diced chicken add that as well, will add great flavor. Add over pasta or toasted baguettes or Italian bread or even rice. Don't worry about the small stuff on this. It is basically a fish stew, Use what you have, Fresh basil and thyme would be great. Parsley too to garnish. Some grated parm if you have some.

        A nice simple grilled romaine salad, drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper and serve with some good balsalmic or blue cheese dessing (your fave). Easy and great taste.

        1. re: kchurchill5

          You make fish stew with "any" red wine? Don't many overpower the fish?

          1. re: KTinNYC

            No I just use a bit for flavor, doesn't overpower, also use stock, broth or water. He said limited resources ... trying to make do. I would probably use white, but have used red when I don't have another choice. It worked fine.


            1. re: kchurchill5

              I'd rather omit the wine entirely than destroy a fish stew with a red wine that doesn't go with fish.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                Hey, I don't mind. I add or I don't. either or nice simple recipe. Wine to me is good but definitely you don't have to. I like the wine but again. Just your taste. My mom always made it that way but there are hundreds of recipes. Either or

      2. I do a quick basque style fish, which is very close to always' ciopinno;

        Equal amounts of chopped onion/bell pepper/celery (maybe a cup each)
        1/2 bulb of garlic, chopped
        3 or 5 green onions, chopped
        2 tins chopped clams
        3 anchovy fillets
        1C dry red wine
        2 TBL paprika
        Fish or chicken broth
        Fish, cut into chunks
        Veg oil for sauteing

        Sweat the onion/celery, add garlic and pepper
        cook for a few minutes and add anchovy, cook until fillets kinda dissolve
        Add paprika, stir
        Crank heat and deglaze with wine, add broth and chopped clams with liquid.
        Bring to boil then lower to simmer, cook maybe 10min

        I like to sear the fish chunks in a separate pan then add to pot, cook another few minutes and there you go.
        The paprika, chopped clams, and wine are key flavorings.

        1. Whatchagot Fish stew is a no brainer - a couple quarts of water and/or broth, a couple pounds of assorted seafood, a couple stalks of celery, a couple of quartered potatoes, an onion or two and a can or two of sliced or whole tomatoes. Add what ever spices you fancy, to taste. I particularly like Old Bay with some chile powder tempered by a bit of basil, thyme and black pepper. Cut up the veg and saute it first, in a bit of olive oil. Then add the seafood and water/broth. You can add say a half cup of uncooked rice or barley to give it more body, if you like.Simmer until the potatoes are cooked.

          I made this yesterday with the above veg and spices combined with a 1 lb bag of Mixed Seafood, a small can of crabmeat, a pound of catfish nuggets, and a 4 oz packet of smoked salmon that was laying about.

          1. JennyHunter, your instincts are more than great. Even some not great white wine, carrots (really important) and V-8 juice will make a wonderful stew. V-8 is a great shortcut that adds amazing complexity. It's my quick-chili secret (thanks, Mom!).

            Shallots are nice, but absolutely not essential. Some celery greens would be good, too, added near the end.