Mediterranean Fish Stew
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion. peeled and finely sliced
- 5 garlic cloves. peeled and finely sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks. trimmed and finely chopped
- 400 g/14 oz./2 cups canned chopped tomatoes with Italian herbs
- 1 tbsp. freshly chopped oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 tsp saffron strands
- 750 ml/ ¼ pints/3 ¼ cups fish stock
- 3 tbsp. dry vermouth
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 225 g/8 oz./ ½ lb. thick haddock fillets
- 225 g/8 oz./ ½ lb. sea bass or bream fillets
- 225 g/8 oz./ ½ lb. raw tiger prawns/jumbo shrimp, peeled
- crusty bread. to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion. garlic. fennel and celery and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes. stirring frequently. until the vegetables are soft and just beginning to turn brown.
Add the canned tomatoes with their juice. the oregano. bay leaf. orange zest and juice with the saffron strands. Bring to the boil. then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the fish stock and vermouth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Wipe or rinse the haddock and bass fillets and remove as many of the bones as possible. Place on a chopping board and cut into 5 cm/2 inch cubes. Add to the saucepan and cook for 3 minutes. Add the prawns/shrimp and cook for a further 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve with crusty bread.