There is something quite magical about a good fish stew, it packs in so much flavour, yet is still fresh, light and healthy. There are endless fish stew recipes out there that require an arsenal of fish species and hours of labour. A great fish stew doesn't need to be complicated - if you can get hold of some fresh white fish and a few mussels or clams, foodie greatness awaits with just a few key store cupboard ingredients and about 45 minutes of your time.
It seems fitting that this Spanish style dish features our Spanish Tomato Frito sauce. This tin of tomato, onion and garlic goodness literally translates as 'Fried Tomatoes' and is a household staple across Spain. It has a rich, sweet flavour and balances well with some acidic white wine. Create depth with some good fish stock, a pinch of saffron, some salted capers and you have an amazing fish supper in no time at all.
Ingredients for Spanish Fish Stew
600g fresh skinless cod loin (or similar white fish)
400g fresh mussels or clams, cleaned - beards removed
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 white onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 x 415g can tomato frito
150ml white wine
200ml fish stock
Small pinch of saffron, infused in a few tablespoons of boiling water
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and soaked in cold water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and add in the sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Gently cook for around 5 minutes, then add in the sliced peppers and continue to cook for further 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile clean the mussels, discarding any that are already open or damaged.
3. Add the garlic and paprika to the peppers and onions, cook for another minute or two before adding in the can of tomato frito. Bring this back up to a simmer then add in the white wine, fish stock and the saffron. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes. You can do all this ahead of time.
4. Season the cod with a little salt and place in the pot with the tomato sauce. Scatter the mussels around the cod and place a lid on. The fish and the mussels will cook in the sauce and steam created in the pot and should take around 5 minutes. The mussels will have all opened and the cod should be firm and white all the way though, if it's still slightly opaque, it will need another minute.
5. Scatter over the capers and chopped parsley and serve with either new potatoes or chunks of grilled sourdough.
Enjoy! Foodies don't forget to share your success stories with us on social media and if you loved this recipe - leave us a review! Ben and Alice
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The beauty of making a paella - NO STIRRING! Get it on and go and do something else, the results are stunning. There are so many variations of this Catalan classic and (just like a risotto) there are so many different ingredients that you can use. When by the coast, fish and shellfish rule, the further inland, chicken, rabbit, sausage are the key. To make a good paella, there are a few things that you need to get right, the rest will take care of itself.
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