Last Friday's Food Fight featured a couple of great-looking fish dishes, including a fish stew from my good friend Chris Ellis. Now, some folks might think the words "fish" and "stew" don't go together, but I've eaten enough cioppino--a wine-based seafood stew--to know the pairing can be incredible.
Also, for a former river rat and affirmed West Virginia hill jack, Chris has some pretty good chops in the kitchen and he's been on a big soup kick lately. Luckily, he agreed to share his recipe with Wild Chef readers.
-1 trout, cleaned and scaled
-3 Tbsp. olive oil
-2 medium onions, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 cup fresh parsley
-2 tomatoes, chopped
-2 Tbsp. tomato paste, optional
-1 cup dry white wine
-Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Give each side of a cleaned trout a quick spray of Pam or other cooking spray and place in glass casserole dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size of trout.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and saute. Cook until translucent and smelling good. Add the parsley and give it a good stir.
Add the tomatoes to the pan. (Here's when I also like to add a couple big spoonfuls of tomato paste if I have some handy for added flavor and color.) When everything looks dandy, I add a cup or so of dry white wine, give it a good stir and let it bubble.
Remove the trout from the oven and place on a cutting board. Run a knife along the fish's lateral line. With a fork, lift meat from rib cage exposing entire skeleton. With one side of the meat removed, you can either lift skeleton from the meat on opposite side or flip the trout over and repeat. The skin will literally peel off the meat leaving you a pile of boneless, skinless trout goodness.
If you need to eat right now, add the trout pieces and enough fish stock to make the stew look like stew and simmer until you drool. I prefer to transfer the veggie mixture to a Dutch oven or slow cooker, add the trout and fish stock, then simmer until the house smells yummy.
Either way, add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve stew with oyster crackers, Tabasco, and of course, a cold Coors Light or two.