Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An Exotic Fish and Vegetable Stew

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been nesting of late and seeking to decorate the ol' homestead; and in surfing around to other blogs, I've managed to bumble upon several different contests, competitions, showdowns, etc. Today's installment will satisfy the requirements for two of them: Souper Sundays and the 7th Mediterranean Cooking Event.

The former encourages people to make soups -- those warm (usually), hearty, soul-satisfying dishes that provide abundant comfort. The latter seeks to nudge us from the everyday meatloaf and mac 'n' cheese -- though God knows we love them! -- and to explore new cultures and cuisines. Their ultimate goals couldn't be more different, and yet this fish stew is ideal for both ventures.

While this photo is, indeed, representative of the dish, it really and truly does not do it justice. The fish, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and olives are all in evidence; but sadly, the vibrancy just did not translate well ....

Spicy, Savory Fish and Vegetable Stew

2 tablespoons oil
32 ounces vegetable stock
1 tablespoon EACH coriander, cumin seed, turmeric, & ras el hanout
pinch of saffron
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1" strips
6 small red potatoes, cut into eighths
juice of half lemon
1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons green olive tapenade (from Trader Joe's)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
1/3 cup green olives, pitted, chopped
1/3 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1/3 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
8 ounces tilapia or other white fish, cut into 2" pieces

Heat oil and 1/2 cup vegetable stock in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric, ras el hanout and saffron; saute for 1 minute. Add onion and saute for 1 minute. Add remaining vegetable stock and potatoes, lemon juice, chili garlic paste and sea salt; bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, cover saucepan, and cook for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, re-cover saucepan, and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serve hot.

That's it! The most difficult part of this process may simply be gathering the ingredients, depending upon where you live; I'm fortunate to live in a city that's sufficiently sophisticated, cosmopolitan and internationally-oriented -- university town that it is -- to have access to Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Brazilian markets, not to mention very well-stocked grocery stores. I actually bought the olives, artichoke hearts and red peppers from a salad bar at Kroger; why buy lots of expensive little jars, after all, when I only needed small amounts???

So, go cook! Your home will smell amazing, exceeded only by the taste of this exotic stew ....


Kirstigal said...

Hey there! really like your blog set up. I totally added you as a site of interest on my blog....hope your son and his friends enjoy the porkchop recipe....I personally find it to be just TOO RICH and decadent, but my boyfriend and all our other guy friends absolutely love it, boys and their bacon, sheesh...hehe :0) Have a great day!

tobias cooks! said...

Spicy and fish go well together. I am not sure how algerian the dish is, but it looks delicious.

Yenta Mary said...

Hi, Tobias!

It was inspired by a Moroccan recipe I found in one of my cookbooks ... I took the fish, olives, tomatoes, potatoes and configured them my own way. I guess I should say it's "influenced" by North African cuisine! All the more reason that I should see that cookbook you're offering ... ;)

Debinhawaii said...

Your soup looks delicious--full of flavor and color. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

I did a North-African inspired soup too this week--see we encourage the exotic at Souper Sundays too--in the soups salad and sandwiches lol!

sandwich365 said...

Ohhhh Mannnn ... You're killin me here. But of all things? A Salad Bar? AT Kroger? Would that my Kroger would offer this..... As a matter of fact, I think you're lieing Yenta Mary. But the stew looks so flippin good, I'm willing to 4give. I mean really. I'm not just sayin this for the sake of Blogger comment ting..... Love and happiness. Happy Mommies Day.

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