Sunday, April 15, 2007

Greek Fish Chowder

This recipe is in that special category of "gifts that keep gving." Surprisingly it freezes extremely well, and there's nothing like it when you know you've got a late work-day, and want something easy, and super good. Defrost in the fridge starting the night before. Make some crunchy garlic-toast (or other crusty bread) and you'll be so glad you made it, and that you made enough to freeze for later.

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3 medium yellow onions, peeled and copped
2 cloves garlic chopped fine
2 one-pound cans peeled tomatoes coursely chopped
4 ribs celery chopped
2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (we used more)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry red wine
4 cups water
1 pound whitefish boneless fillets
1/2 pound each of any or all of the following:
- Clams, rinsed
- Mussels, scrubbed clean and rinsed
- Crabs
- Scallops
- Shrimp
- Squid, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch rings

In 6 qt. heavy stockpot heat oil and add onion and garlic, saute until clear about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the seafood and simmer uncovered until the stock is rich and full-flavored, about 30 minutes. Add the fish and shellfish in the order listed giving each variety a moment to cook. The clams will take longer than the squid. Serve with crusty bread.

This meal is what the DRI is all about. It's easy and flexible in terms of ingredients. Pick out whatever looks good at the fish market, any combination works. It is also great as left-overs as described above. The recipe comes to us from Jeff Smith's (the Frugal Gourmet) paperback "Three Ancient Cuisines; China, Greece, Rome," and is classic Frugal Gourmet, easy and essential. We served it as recommended alongside Smith's "Greek Village Salad" from the same cookbook. We'll post that recipe as well, it's a tasty salad/slaw, and a good companion dish.