A healthy but flavoursome stew to warm your cockles on an Autumn evening. This dish is all about simplicity. Learn how to make outstanding dinner ready in 30 minutes.
Recipe of this stew is inspired by the classic Mediterranean dish Sea bass en brodo. Cooking anything en brodo simply means you are cooking it in a flavorful broth. In Italy, this type of cooking is popular for seafood and also small stuffed pastas like tortellini. The key here is simplicity–take this specific fish en brodo recipe for example.
Using the best possible fish broth is one of the most important steps when making this dish.
In New Zealand, you can use bass groper or hapuku instead of famous European sea bass. Cod also could be used in this recipe. But my choice is Gurnard. Gurnard fillet is quite cheap and great for cooking in flavourful broth. I love its delicate taste and white, lean, and firm flesh which perfectly keep the shape and doesn’t fall apart into flakes.
Tip: Use the fish head to make a fantastic broth.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. This is one of the most valuable and expensive spices known worldwide, thanks to its color, flavor and medicinal properties. Saffron turns the plain fish stew into a culinary masterpiece. It also gives its characteristic yellow hue.
- 500g (1lb) Gurnard fillet, cut into bite-size
- 500ml (2 cups) good quality fish broth
- 1 leek (white part only), chopped
- 1 celery stick, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
- 2 cups cooked (or canned) Cannellini or Butter beans
- a few sprigs of thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron
- pinch of chili flakes
- olive oil
- black pepper
- fresh parsley and thyme to garnish
- Heat a saucepan with a splash of olive oil and add leek, celery, and chili flakes to the pan with a pinch of salt. Sweat very slowly on a low heat until soft, but not brown.
- Add a splash of white wine. Сook for a few minutes or until the alcohol is evaporated. Add two cups of boiling fish broth. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in saffron, cherry tomatoes, and cooked white beans. Add whole thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the fish, pushing down on it to immerse it in the liquid. Simmer gently until the fish is opaque when tested with a fork at its thickest point, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Remove thyme sprigs from the stew.
- Divide the fish stew between bowls. Garnish with the thyme leaves and chopped parsley, serve immediately with a fresh crusty French baguette. Enjoy!