When I first moved to New Mexico, my husband did all the cooking. He was a great fan of chili, and used to put chilis in everything. I was from the east coast, however, and not really used to that much spice. One day he put some green chili in a fish dish that he made, and I rebelled. "Can't we have ANYTHING without chili in it?" He said "OK", and from that day he ceased to put chili in anything. After about 2 weeks, I went to him like an addict needing a fix. "Can we please have something with chilis in it?" I asked sheepishly. "Sure!" Chilis were back, and I've relied upon them as a source of comfort (and vitamin C) ever since.
And so I'm dedicating this week's recipe to Bob. Sure, I got some ideas from epicurious.com "Grandfather's Cioppino" but in the spirit of the kind of cooking he taught me, I tweaked it according to whim and what I had on hand. You were right, Bob. Fish with chili is not such a bad idea after all.
2 TBS olive oil
1 large onion
3 celery stalks, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes - I think mine was 14oz.
Fresh tomatoes, chunked. I had some grape tomatoes that needed using - about 1 1/2 C
1 C dry red wine
1 TBS red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
a few vigorous shakes of dried oregano
a vigorous shake of ground cinnamon
1 TBS crushed red pepper flakes
1 whole red chili or jalapeno - kept whole.
2 C water
1 fish boullion cube (shhhhh! Don't tell the culinary cops!)
Fish: I used the following, approximately a big handful of each:
In a heavy stockpot over medium high heat, sautee onion, celery and garlic till the onion is translucent
Add the next 8 ingredients and stir, then reduce heat to medium
Cook for about 10 minutes.
Add water and boullion cube (or 2+ cups of homemade stock, if you have any and haven't run out as I did!) and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add fish, starting with the densest, heaviest fish first, and moving to the lightest fish last. In my case, I started with the tuna and sea bass and ended with the shrimp and scallops, as they only take about 3 minutes to cook.
This dish is great to make for parties. You can prepare everything but the fish ahead of time. The pot can be on the stove and kept warm until you sense your guests are ready for food. Turn the heat up under the pot, drop the fish in and voila! A spectacular meal, served with fresh sourdough or baguette slices.
This soup is my response to Alanna's Soup Month over at Veggie Venture. It seems that not all soups need be vegetarian for this event, so if you haven't yet "dished", please do!
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