I am, by all definitions of the word - a landlubber. I've spent my entire life landlocked. I am one of the grouchy few who hate the beach (it's the sand). And fresh fish scares me.
For years, I successfully avoided the fish counter at my grocery store, until my son discovered the live lobsters. Now we stop for a short hello, before ducking into the diaper isle.
It's not the fish that scare me. We always have fish sticks in the freezer. It's the fresh. The fresh fishiness. And the eyeballs. And the fishiness.
I assume, had I grown up along the coast, this would not be an issue. But since I'm a whopping 2 hours from the ocean, my fish phobia is excused.
I've surmounted this fear a handful of times in the past decade. Twice I baked tilapia fillets with peppers and onions in a lemon sauce. Betty Crocker said it was delicious. My husband said it was fishy. The cat agreed with Betty.
My husband caught several small lake fish. We made fish and chips. He cleaned, filleted, battered, and fried the fish. I made the tartar sauce.
It's the fishiness. But this week I had a breakthrough. A delicious one. I made a Chilean cazuela (stew) with fresh cod. It was amazing, and not at all fishy. Even my son loved it. So of course, I'm going to share it with you, in all its fresh fish deliciousness.
Chilean Fish Stew - Cazuela de Pescado
Serves: 4-5 3 Tbs olive oil 1 med onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced 1 med tomato, chopped
Kosher salt and pepper 1 quart fish or corn stock
Approx. ¾ quart water 1/2 cup of carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped 1/2 cup raw pumpkin, cubed
1/2 lb of potatoes, cubed 1/3 cup rice
Heaping tsp Oregano Heaping Tb Cumin
1 cob of corn, cut in 4-5 rounds
1 cup frozen green beans 1 cup of chopped cabbage
1/2 cup frozen peas 2 lbs white fish, cut in pieces
Handful Fresh cilantro In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic, tomato, salt, and pepper in the oil. When the onions and garlic are starting to get soft, add the broth. You can add more or less, based on how soupy you want it to be.
When the broth starts to boil, add all the carrots, celery, pumpkin, potatoes, rice, and spices. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Add the corn and green beans. Simmer until all is soft. Add the cabbage, peas, and fish. Simmer 8 minutes until fish is done. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
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