Fish Stew

Most people don’t know what to do with fish, and the cheaper frozen stuff is hard to get right because it’s usually so watery. No wonder a great deal is sold ready coated with breadcrumbs or batter. Especially Sole, Whiting, Pollack and Tilapia.

Anyway, here’s my tried and tested flavourful recipe that seems to be fine for any cheap white fish. You can also add frozen Salmon when it’s on offer, and maybe some shelled prawns if you’re feeling a bit flush, but mostly this is a cheap and cheerful dish that fills the belly, sticks to the ribs and keeps out the Winter cold. It’s also bloody easy and relatively quick to make. Make a batch. Keep some in the Freezer.

Ingredients:
About a pound (Half kilo) Skinned, frozen uncoated fish fillets. Whatever’s in season and relatively cheap is fine. Bulk buy from local hypermarket. If you’ve caught it yourself, gut and fillet to keep the bones out.
Half a pint of milk
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley flakes
1 Pinch dried Basil
2 Bayleaves
Half a teaspoon of Capers
2 Crushed and minced cloves of Garlic or a teaspoon of Garlic powder
Half a pound of Frozen mixed vegetables (California mix works well) Carrots, Cauliflower and Broccoli florets are good. Fine cut Parsnips add a slightly sweeter edge. Whatever is in season and cheap. Toss in half a handful of frozen peas if you fancy. Chopped bell peppers can be substituted.
2 ounces Butter
2 ounces flour
Salt & Black pepper to taste
Water

Method:
Put skinned frozen fish in a ten inch saucepan. No need to defrost. Add Milk, Bayleaves, Capers, Parsley flakes, Basil, Garlic and frozen veg. Add water until the fish and stuff is almost covered. Put on a low to medium heat, bring to a slow boil then turn down heat to poach gently.
In a smaller 1 pint saucepan, melt butter over a low heat, stir in flour to make a smooth paste. Add paste to poaching fish mix. Stir in.
Simmer mix gently for about twenty minutes to thicken to a glutinous consistency, giving it a stir every five minutes or so. Add Salt and Black pepper to taste. Serve, accept respect and kudos with good grace and not too much humility.

Total prep and cooking time, about fifty minutes to an hour. Serve with any form of potato, couscous, boiled rice or even pasta. Goes well with fresh crusty bread or even a limp slice of white presliced loaf. It’s that good.

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Expatriate expostulations from Canada; a.k.a. A Sarcastic man abroad trying to stay in the middle of the road without getting run over.

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