Sunday, May 1, 2011

Greek Fish Stew from Food and Wine May 2011

(Written 4/09/11)
Tomorrow is my husband's birthday, and this morning we were trying to decide whether to go out for dinner or stay-in.  He said that he was in the mood for me to make a fish-stew.  Coincidentally, I was flipping through the new Food and Wine and saw a recipe for Greek Fish Stew, so it was settled.

After lunch, we hit-up the Yellow Umbrella seafood (in Richmond.)  This is the best seafood in Richmond.  Period.  No other store--large or small--can compare with the quality, service and selection of the Yellow Umbrella.  (There are also great sides and wine.)  There, we purchased the halibut, mussels and shrimp (we decided to add shrimp even though the recipe did not call for it) for the stew.

With the exception of the shrimp, I stuck closely to the recipe.  We served the stew with crusty French bread and a bottle of Pinot Grigio though some Greek white would have been a more fitting choice!

Below is the recipe from Food and Wine with pictures I took while cooking the stew:

"On the Greek island of Kalymnos, fishermen make a stew with shellfish, whole fish, lemon, onion and water," says Andrew Zimmern. "They eat it straight from the pot with their hands—no bowls. It tastes of sweat and iodine, but it is easily one of the best soups I've ever had. I make my version with halibut, throwing in mussels at the end."
video Michael Psilakis: Defining Greek Food

Pairing Suggestion

Vibrant whites from the Greek Isles, made with grapes such as Roditis and Moscofilero, are fantastic with seafood like this fish stew.

Greek Fish Stew

  • FAST


  1. 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 onion, thinly sliced
  3. 1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  4. 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  5. 5 large celery ribs, thinly sliced, plus 1/4 cup leaves
  6. 2 parsley sprigs
  7. 2 thyme sprigs
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. 1 small lemon, scrubbed and quartered
  10. 3 cups dry white wine
  11. 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  12. One 1 1/2-pound halibut steak on the bone
  13. 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
  14. Crusty bread, for serving

  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the onion, leek, garlic, celery ribs and leaves, parsley and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, 8 minutes. Add the lemon and wine and simmer over moderately high heat until the wine is reduced by half, 4 minutes. Add the stock and simmer over moderate heat until reduced by one-third, 5 minutes. 
  2. Season the halibut with salt and pepper and add it to the casserole. Cover and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Turn the halibut and add the mussels. Cover and cook over moderate heat until the mussels open, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer the stew to a deep dish and serve right away with bread. 

Bon Appetit!

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