Memories Of My Grandfather Fish Stew!
My grandfather was precious to me, as are all grandfathers. Skinny as a rail, way over 6 feet tall, and ate to live, not lived to eat as they say...he had the typical menu of that generation, lots of eggs, butter, milk, beef, fresh caught fish, a hunted partridge now and then, potatoes, a simple vegetable, no salads for him, and a little shot of whiskey now and then, hidden in his garage,...once in a while a bowl of oatmeal might be made to change things up a bit. He owned a sawmill most of his life, and was the typical hard worker, left every morning with his lunch pail and was gone most of the day...nothing touched on his plate, and each thing was eaten separate...with one exception, my home made fish stew...I would call him when I was going to make some, and he always said, "aha, ok, we will be waiting for some, we love your fish stew".
Every time I make it I can see him sitting at his kitchen table waiting for it, and it better be there by 12:00, his lunch time...
It is a very simple recipe. He and I agreed on one thing, no thick broth milk soups or stews for us.
The best fish to use is either Haddock, our favorite, or Cod is another good one to use.
Amounts are up to you, depending on how many people you are going to feed. My recipe amounts I use are as follows:
1/2 pound fish, skinless, fresh or frozen, if frozen defrost well and pat dry
3 medium diced potatoes, DO not use russets here, they are too meaty/mealy for this recipe I found. ( I generally use red skins, peeled)
1 medium diced onion
2 diced carrots
heaping tsp dried thyme
some black pepper
chopped celery leaves only if you have some (optional)
Place in a pan/pot, cover just to top of veggies with water simmer about 5 or 6 minutes depending on the size of your pieces, till not quite tender.
Then add around 1/2 pound, no less, of your fish on top of the simmering veggies and simmer around 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork and is done, breaking it up in pieces.
Next add enough milk of your choice, I use organic 2 percent, to the pan until you have the amount of broth you would like for either a soup or a stew, less for a stew, more for a soup.
Lastly add a pat of butter, and heat almost to a boil, never boil milk based soups...
For those who like thicker soups you could thicken at this point with your favorite thickener, which of course, I do not......
As is any soup or stew this is always better the next day...
Always trying to add color to my recipes, I did try diced red pepper one day in it, but he was not a fan of that at all...so I stick to the way he liked it and think he might have just been right.....
If I have another tip on cooking it would be: never underestimate celery, it is a cooks friend...it is cheap, healthy, hardly any calories, bulks up and stretches any recipe, can be eaten raw or cooked, and is a diuretic to boot...and if properly stored keeps for quite a while in fridge, can also simmer some with onions and toss in freezer for future dishes before it goes bad on you!!!