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Mediterranean Fish Stew

Pamela Salzman is a cooking instructor in the Los Angeles area who focuses on whole, seasonal, and locally-grown organic foods.

Her growing popularity among Hollywood celebrities led to a glowing profile in Elle magazine. Pamela's website – Kitchen Matters – focuses on recipes taught in her classes, as well as nutrition education.

As she says, “This stew is brothy like a soup, but full of chunkiness like a stew, and you can easily make a meal out of it with a piece of crusty bread.”

“When I put this together the first time, I was thinking more bouillabaisse, the classic French seafood soup, and less cioppino, the zesty Italian tomato fish stew. Either way I think this is the perfect light, but warming dinner.”

“It also cooks in a very short amount of time, so you'll have it on the table in less than half an hour.”

Mediterranean Fish Stew
Pamela suggests you serve this with with slices of toasted baguette, rubbed with garlic.
Serves 4 (to serve 6, multiply everything by 1.5) 

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 fennel bulb, halved and chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, divided
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme
Pinch of red pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
3/4 pound of fresh tomatoes, chopped (peeled and seeded, if desired) or 14-ounce canned chopped tomatoes, drained
1/2 pound Yukon Gold or other boiling potatoes, peeled if you like and diced
10 ounces (1¼ cups) of fish stock (or even chicken stock or vegetable stock)
1 cup dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc)
1¼ pounds fish fillets* (such as halibut, cod, sole, and salmon), cut into 2-inch pieces (or use more fish and fewer vegetables)

*We offer random-size pieces of cod, halibut, and salmon – ideal for soups, chowders, and stews – at special prices.
  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, garlic, fennel and carrots and sauté for about 6 minutes, until tender.
  2. Add half the parsley, bay leaf, thyme, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and turmeric. Gently cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add tomatoes and stir to combine.
  3. Add potatoes, stock and white wine. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook, covered until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add fish and cook another 5 minutes uncovered or until fish is cooked through. (If you decide to use mussels or small clams, simmer with the pot covered until they open.) Add more salt to taste, if desired.
  5. Ladle into bowls and serve. Garnish with reserved parsley.
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