Serving
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Cotriade - Seafood Stew
France - Brittany
  -   Cotriade
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
5 main  
***
4 hrs  
Note-5
This very flavorful and satisfying seafood stew can also be made as a soup by simply adding more stock. The difficult part (fish disassembly and stock making) can be done well ahead. See Notes 5,6 on method.




3-1/2
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8
1
3
3
4
2
1
1
5
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8
1
1-1/2
4
8
1
1/4
1
3
2
1
2/3
1/4
1/4
pinch
#
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oz
cl
oz
T



T
c
---
oz
cl
#
oz
oz
T
c
c



t
t
t
Fish, whole (1)  
-- Stock
Onions
Garlic
Carrots
Butter
Parsley sprigs
Thyme sprigs
Bay Leaf
Tomato Paste
Water
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Onions
Garlic
Potatoes (2)
Mussel meat (3)
Shrimp (4)
Butter
Calvados
Wine, white
Parsley sprigs
Thyme sprigs
Bay Leaf
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne
Saffron
Prep   -   (1-1/2 hrs (variable))
  1. Scale FISH. Clean out the innards (most fish markets around here will do these steps for you without charge). Cut off the heads, fillet, and skin fillets. Cut into about 1 inch cubes.
  2. Make Fish Stock
    1. Remove Gills from FISH HEADS and discard. Cut off collar (cut at point of chin and bend it back). Split heads lengthwise. Rinse them out well.
    2. Chop ONIONS and CARROTS small. Crush GARLIC. Mix.
    3. In a large saucepan, melt Butter and add Onion mix. Fry stirring until onions are translucent but not at all browned.
    4. Add Fish Heads, Bones and Fins (skins only if known not to be oily or have a strong flavor), Parsley, Thyme, Bay Leaf, Tomato Paste and about 5 cups of Water to cover the fish well. Bring to a simmer. skim and simmer covered very slowly for 40 minutes.
    5. Strain through a fine strainer. Let the stock stand for a bit so bits drop to the bottom, then decant.
    6. Remove all oil (use your gravy separator).
  3. Chop ONIONS fine. Crush GARLIC. Mix..
  4. Peel POTATOES and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Hold in cold water until needed.
  5. Scrub MUSSELS if using live mussels. If using frozen meat, just thaw. Shell SHRIMP and pull gut as needed. Mix.
Run   -   (30 min)
  1. In your stew pot, fry ONIONS until translucent. Add Herbs and drained Potatoes over.
  2. Pour in Calvados and White Wine. Add Salt, Pepper, Cayenne and Saffron. Pour in enough of the Fish Stock to just cover. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
  3. Layer the Fish on evenly and add enough more Fish Stock to not quite cover. Layer the Shrimp and Mussels evenly on the top (do not add more stock unless making soup). Bring back to a simmer, cover tightly and simmer slowly for another 10 minutes.
  4. If using whole mussels, pull any that didn't open, they are bad.
  5. Give it a stir, fish out the herbs, and serve hot.
NOTES:
  1. Fish:   Weight is for whole fish, "heads guts and feathers", because you need to make fish stock. These fish should yield somewhere near 1-1/2 pounds of flesh, depending on type of fish used. A variety of fish can be used, but select fish that stay firm enough to be used in soup, are of light to medium flavor, and that produce a good soup stock. For a vast amount of information on fish and cooking them see our our pages at Fish.
  2. Potatoes:   White Rose are very good for this recipe. Avoid "Gold" potatoes which turn to mush if cooked a little long. For details see our Potatoes page.
  3. Mussels:   The pattern recipe calls for 12 ounces of whole live mussels in the shell. Small mussels make for a picturesque stew - but the ones common here in Los Angeles are just too large. They also require scrubbing, there's a risk some will be bad and not open, they aren't particularly suited to buffet service, and they aren't nearly as economical as frozen mussel meat which runs around US $4.29 per pound in the Asian markets.
  4. Shrimp:   Do not use pre-cooked shrimp. They are almost flavorless and contribute nothing to the soup.
  5. Do-Ahead   Preparing the fish and the fish stock can be done even days ahead. Freeze the fillets quickly in one layer. After straining and oil removal, reheat the stock to boiling, let cool a little (keeping lid on) and pour into jars (empty pickle jars work fine). Put the lids on tight immediately, and after cooling refrigerate. It'll keep at least a week.
  6. Method   I very often have plenty of plain fish stock already made, and fillets in the freezer. In this case I make the stock with the vegetables and 4-1/2 cups of plain fish stock.
  7. Mods:   I have modified the procedure considerably for my convenience, for buffet service, and because here in Sunny Southern California we don't fire up ovens unless we really need to. The pattern recipe slices the potatoes thin and places them over the (unfried) onions. The fish fillets are placed on top whole. Seasonings and liquids are added and the pot is brought to a simmer for 10 minutes. The mussels and shrimp are placed on top, the pot covered and placed in a preheated 400°F oven for 20 minutes.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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