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[FF] Fish Stew-Eastern North Carolina Style

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Feb 11, 2019 - 7:45:51 AM
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rinemb

USA

10760 posts since 5/24/2005

Below is a fish stew I saw prepared on America's Test Kitchen. They went to Eastern North Carolina to observe how a typical Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew was thrown. Then they put their typical mods on it so the recipe would be more suitable to a typical household. To watch their video see the link. https://www.cookscountry.com/videos/3973-eastern-north-carolina-fish-stew
I made this for the family last night, including a vegetarian version I designed based on fish substitute research on the net. This soup is not complicated and as they said on the show, "this is the best soup most of you have never eaten." Brad

Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew (serves 6-8)
{Slightly modified from ATK, link: https://www.cookscountry.com/videos/3973-eastern-north-carolina-fish-stew} The ATK version includes their typical modifications from some tradition fish stews made in Eastern NC.

Ingredients:
2 lb Fish white firm such as cod, 1-1/4” thick
1 lb Red Potatoes, medium, about 4-5 potatoes
2 Onions
6 strips Bacon, smoked
8 Eggs, large
6 cups Water
1 6 oz can Tomato Paste
1 dash +/- Hot Sauce
1 tspn +/- Smoked Paprika* optional
1 pinch +/- Red Pepper flakes* optional
1-1/2 tspn Salt, or to taste

How to Throw the Stew: (About 1-hour prep, cook, and serve)
1. In adequate size pot, add bacon chopped to about ½” pieces, and fry until mostly
crisp.
2. To the bacon and fat, add onions halved & thin-sliced, and soften well, then
mix in the paprika and pepper flakes if desired.
3. Add the water and begin bringing to light boil.
4. Add the tomato paste and the hot sauce, and incorporate.
5. Add the potatoes, peel-on sliced at about ¼”, then cook for 10 minutes.
6. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
7. Meanwhile, prepare fish by cutting into about 2” pieces, after the 10
Minutes above, with pot at barely a bubble simmer, spread fish pieces around
in the pot, then gently submerge them. Do not stir.
8. Immediately, add the eggs one at a time around on top of stew. Do not stir.
(Hint* crack eggs in one at a time first into small bowl, so if you break yoke or it
is bad you may discard.)
9. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

To serve:
With slotted spoon or spatula, carefully add 1 or 2 pieces of fish to bowl and 1 egg and some potato/onion slices, then ladle in some broth.
At table traditionally include plain white bread, *with optional butter, for dipping.

*** For the “Vegetarians” at my table, I also made a second pot, using firm tofu instead of fish and used high temp olive oil instead of bacon. A few hours ahead, I first pressed the block of tofu for about an hour, then I cut firm tofu into about 3/4” thick by 1-1/2” pcs and dry marinated them in ziplock covered on all sides with kelp powder-for fishy taste. And the smoked paprika gave it the smoky flavor that the bacon would have provided.

Edited by - rinemb on 02/11/2019 07:47:05

Feb 11, 2019 - 10:24:18 AM

Mooooo

USA

5763 posts since 8/20/2016

Although when it comes to seafood, i'm more of a creamy chowder fan, this sounds too good to pass up. Thanks Brad.

Feb 11, 2019 - 11:10:48 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

10760 posts since 5/24/2005

Since I don't tolerate much heat, and my wife even less....I went with no red pepper flakes, about 1/2tspn of "Crystal" hot sauce, and that is why included the paprika. and the smoked paprika added to the smoky flavor from the bacon. I thought with only water and no celery and no carrots that the broth might be a bit bland, but the tomato paste and the seasoning(s) and the bacon fat gave the stew liquid a good flavor yet the fresh flavor came through nicely.
And I like the term "throw" a stew...That alone made me want to make this dish.
Enjoy, Brad

Feb 11, 2019 - 11:13:29 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

22295 posts since 8/3/2003

All of it sounds good except the fish..... how about chicken, turkey, ground round or anything but fish? (I don't like fish, in case you hadn't figured that out).

Feb 11, 2019 - 11:34:35 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

10760 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

All of it sounds good except the fish..... how about chicken, turkey, ground round or anything but fish? (I don't like fish, in case you hadn't figured that out).


Well, Sherry, you could try it with the kelp powdered tofu.  ;-)

Sure, but Just have to work out timing of the meat cook if you still use eggs.  (and the potato timing I suppose)

brad

Feb 11, 2019 - 12:04:50 PM

Brian T

Canada

14905 posts since 6/5/2008

Bouillabaisse is what it is. Never enough shellfish to suit me.
So I eat a pot of wine-steamed mussels with fresh bread and butter.

For some reason, I've always been accustomed to having fish dry-cooked, baked, maybe deep fried.
I'd be really happy to see a veg stew on the side.

Feb 11, 2019 - 12:20:53 PM
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rinemb

USA

10760 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Brian T

Bouillabaisse is what it is. Never enough shellfish to suit me.
So I eat a pot of wine-steamed mussels with fresh bread and butter.

For some reason, I've always been accustomed to having fish dry-cooked, baked, maybe deep fried.
I'd be really happy to see a veg stew on the side.


One thing I liked about this recipe, is that the thick cod fish poached in the broth, stayed plump and firm and whole.  The egg thing was new to me.  I could take it or leave it, though it was good.  Perhaps, in tradition the folks who were making it had plenty of home raised chickens and eggs.  Our grocery store had large eggs on sale for 59 cents per carton, so between the stew and the pound cake I made, I used a lot of em.  brad

Feb 11, 2019 - 12:23:53 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

10760 posts since 5/24/2005

In my parts, we don't catch fish big enough to have that thick of flesh. Our stores are getting better about their fish offerings. But my local fish monger, who used to be a few blocks away, has moved to several miles away. I have not been motivated to go to new location yet.
Brad

Feb 11, 2019 - 2:16:48 PM

Brian T

Canada

14905 posts since 6/5/2008

Fish sales in this village are still driven by the calendar (Fridays) and by very conservative tastes (white fillets.)
Those and the Captain Highpecker English style(?) battered whatever fish in the freezers.

Big chunk fish would cook OK. Anything 1" or less, like salmon steaks, etc, get pan-done.

Even in the city, the fish market is on the other side of town but well worth the drive for me to squander bundles of cash on all sorts of good things.
When the weather is good, I see more company out here.
They know to ask me what I want for "fishy things" and I'll serve bison!
I got a frozen block of Calamari, last time!

Feb 11, 2019 - 5:00:50 PM
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bubbalouie

Canada

11860 posts since 9/27/2007

I would love to be served this stew but if I was making it it would have way more seafood & bacon. cheeky

Feb 12, 2019 - 5:04:23 AM

1461 posts since 1/16/2010

Yum yum sounds good! I’m going to try it Brad. Thanks for sharing!

Feb 12, 2019 - 10:53:05 AM
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rinemb

USA

10760 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by bubbalouie

I would love to be served this stew but if I was making it it would have way more seafood & bacon. cheeky

 


Ok, you asked for it.  I posted a version of this several years ago.  A peasant stew you can mess with to simplify or further complicate, etc.  brad

Cioppino (Cho-pee-no)         b.rine, modified from multiple sources                              (serves 6)

{This Italian "peasant" stew offers many options as to ingredients and volumes.  It is a "use what you have or care to use" "use how much you want" type of stew.  Historically, the women folk would gather at the dock and get a big kettle of the sauce going over a fire, using whatever they had to bring.  And when their men folk came off their fishing boat at night tired and hungry, they would add to the community pot whatever "junk" fish/shell fish they saved that they could not sell.  By the time they unloaded their days catch the meal was ready.}

 

Ingredients:                Sauce

½ C                  Olive Oil, high temp, or 6-8 strips bacon in ½” pieces

2-3 Cloves       Garlic, minced

1-1/2 C             Onion, chopped

¼ C                  Parsley, chopped

¼-½ C              Celery, chopped

1-2T                 Green Pepper, chopped

½ tspn +/-        Smoked Paprika                     

1 8oz Can        Tomato Sauce and/or 1 6oz can tomato paste

1 #2-1/2Can    Tomatoes, chopped

1-1/2 C              Dry red wine

1T                      Red Wine Vinegar

1tspn +/-          Hot Sauce

1/4tspn +/-      Red Pepper Flakes, or black pepper

1/2tspn            Sweet Basil Leaf, dried

1-2                    Bay Leaves

1-1/2t +/-        Salt, or to taste

                                    Fish/Shell Fish:

1-1/2 lb           Shrimp, shelled and cleaned

1-1/2 lb           Hard-shelled Crabs, cooked and cracked

2 doz                Clams, raw in shell, scrubbed

½ lb                  Scallops

1-1/2 lb           Firm white fish or combination of, such as:

                        Sea bass, Cod, Red Snapper, etc., cut into 1 to 1-1/2” pcs

2 C +/-             Water, hot in reserve, so if needed

           

Instructions:               (In a large pot or Dutch oven)

1.  In pot, add oil (or fry the bacon pcs to mostly crisp) add garlic, onions, green peppers, celery,

     then soften.

2.  Add parsley, paprika, red pepper flakes, then stir.

3.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, hot sauce, basil, bay leaves, wine and

     salt, then stir.

4.  Bring sauce to simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour.

5.  Meanwhile prepare seafood ingredients where needed.

6.  Add all of the fish/shell fish, except the cooked crab and raw clams, (see step 7 now) then cook on light

     simmer for 18-25 minutes, or until fish is just tender but still plump and firm.

7.  If more liquid is needed, add heated water and or more wine if needed, and get back to low simmer as

      soon as possible, then check seasoning and add S&P to taste.

8.  Add cooked crabs and the clams.  As soon as clams begin to open remove pot from heat.

    *Hint:  Cooking orders and times for the seafood items may need adjusted depending on what is used,

      in order to properly cook the items and avoid them shredding apart. Remember, use what you want!

Feb 12, 2019 - 10:57:01 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

10760 posts since 5/24/2005

In the above cioppino, there are few ingredients and few volumes sacred. Get the sauce like you want it, add the fish as you have or desire, and just work with the cook timing. Brad

Feb 12, 2019 - 11:06:13 AM

bubbalouie

Canada

11860 posts since 9/27/2007

Now we talkin' Bubba!!!

Feb 13, 2019 - 3:50:41 AM

slammer

USA

2637 posts since 12/30/2008

I love Cioppino and love making it. I keep coming back to this fish stew recipe and just cant comprehend the eggs in it. It just doesn't seem right to me, but I keep coming back to it and looking at the video, and now curiosity's got the cat. Gonna have to try it and see for myself.
I've got a freezer full of Lawyers (aka, Burbot ) and will use that fish and now can't wait to try it. Eggs.......huh??? Who'd a thunk !!!
Slammer!!!

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