Chorizo and Haddock Stew {to warm your being}

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November 13, 2012 by Tamika

It’s almost Thanksgiving. That means it’s almost WINTER. This came about quite fast. The most redeeming thing about fall and winter to me is the food. Comforting, warming, creative, substantial.

Growing up winter foods were focused around pastas and heavy stews. I have a deep love for risotto, which can stick to the ribs as well (and I love it WAY more than my husband does. Really, I’ll eat it for breakfast with an egg, then again for lunch no problem, dinner? a different risotto? I’ve had to break myself of that). After a brilliant spring, summer and early fall of fresh veggies from the garden and markets along with the local free range meats I source and fish I pick up in Maine (it’s a long trek for seafood.. I do some visiting too) sometimes it’s a let down to suddenly have only squash, root veg, roasted or stewed meats and grains (which for us glutards is limited.. do you like that? glutards. My sister coined the term for us and I cooped it, I love it. My other sister is a lactard.). I LOVE all these foods, but I do miss the variety of Summer and early Fall. We have a fall garden for greens and we WILL, goshdangit, put in a hoop house next early spring, once the frosts are continuous our fall garden will end. Eating local has it’s challenges in cold climate areas, that’s for sure!

This brings me to the stew. I adore meat and fish mixed. As in Paella, Cioppino, Gumbo, Moqueca, Portuguese Stew. All coastal countries have variations. I am on the east coast, I make up variations based on what’s in my freezer and fridge. I always have some fresh local sausage, most likely chorizo, keilbasa or a lamb sausage. I buy fresh fish in bulk when I’m in a fishing area (like Portland, Me), separate it into 1lb packages for the freezer. I love haddock and cod, big white meaty fish that soaks up flavors where ever it’s used.

My stews follow a simple pattern, saute garlic, sliced sausage (or crumbled, out of it’s casing), onions (shallots, leeks), roasted tomatoes (you can buy them canned), beans of some kind (chickpeas, gigante beans, cassoulet beans, cannellini’s all work well) frequently a chopped leafy green if I have any, collards, kale, spinach. I stick with earthy, sultry spices, smoked paprika, cayenne or a chilli powder, black kurdish chili, toasted coriander and cumin seeds. Capers, olives, preserved lemon rind slices, all have a place in fish stews and it’s up to your mood to choose.

Chorizo and Haddock Stew

1lb fresh Chorizo (not dried sausage), sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

1 lb Haddock, cut into 2 inch chunks, set aside

3 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat blade of a knife and chopped

1 medium onion, quartered and sliced

2 thick leeks, sliced lengthwise, then sliced horizontally into thin 1/2 rounds. Wash slices in a strainer

1 potato cut into small chunks (more if you prefer, use less beans)

2 cups chickpeas (or other bean)

15/16 oz roasted tomatoes (diced or whole, they get cooked down)

1 cup chicken broth or 1/2 cup broth and 1/2 cup white wine

1 tbs smoked prapika

2 tsp toasted coriander seeds, crushed with mortal and pestle (or the flat of a knife)

1 tsp black kurdish chili (or any very dark flake chili)

1/2 tsp or more cayenne

Olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium stock pot or heavy dutch oven saute garlic for a minute in sizzling oil over medium heat,  add chorizo and let brown on one side before turning them, when they are almost cooked add the onion and leeks. 

Cook over medium heat until onions turn golden and chorizo is cooked through, 10 minutes.
Add chickpeas, potato, tomatoes, broth and spices. Let this simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes.

When the potatoes are quite done, add the fish directly on top, don’t stir it in yet. Replace the lid and cook for another 10 minutes, remove lid, turn off heat, stir fish in gently.

Serve with good olives or capers sprinkled on to each bowl, salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of robust olive oil.

While this stew can be served over pasta or rice, it’s perfect, and lighter, as is. Grab a hunk of good, buttered, gluten free bread to dip.

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