Thomasina Miers rustles up a simple Spanish Fish Stew with a wholesome Almond Crumb from her new book Chilli Notes – and it’s perfect for introducing your little ones to spice…
Fish stew is one of those fail-safe dishes that I cook often. It always reminds me of a weekend in Spain when we went out with some local fishermen and caught enough to feed 40 which we cooked in an old beaten-up tin barrel. I have added a crumb to this version, as it lifts the stew from a cosy supper dish into something altogether more glamorous. Make it more child-friendly by either using just half a chile or take it out completely.
Ingredients | Feeds 4
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 2 medium onions, finely chopped
• 1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, sliced
• 2 tsp fennel seeds, roughly ground
• 1 Chile de árbol
• 2 good pinches of saffron strands
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
• 500ml water or fish stock
• 600g new potatoes in 2-3cm chunks
• 900g line-caught cod, cut into large 2-inch chunks
For the almond crumb
• 100g blanched almonds
• 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
• 1 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4
Heat a large casserole dish over a high heat and when hot add the olive oil. Turn the heat down to medium before adding the onions, fennel, sliced garlic, fennel seeds, chilli and saffron, and seasoning generously with salt and black pepper. Sweat the vegetables in the olive oil for 10 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking for another 5 minutes. Add the plum tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, then pour in the water or stock and the new potatoes.
Simmer the stew for about 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes offer up no resistance when you push a sharp knife through. In the meantime, put the almonds on a baking tray and pop in the oven for 5-10 minutes until a pale golden colour. Roughly chop with a knife to make coarse breadcrumbs, stir in the paprika and salt.
Add the fish to the stew once the potatoes are cooked and simmer for a further 5 minutes until the fish turns from translucent to opaque. Spoon into hot bowls and scatter the almond crumb on top before serving.
Read our interview with Thomasina about motherhood and her latest food initiative to get kids into growing, learning about, cooking and eating food here.
Chilli Notes: Recipes to Warm the Heart (not burn the tongue) by Thomasina Miers | £25