Almost anything you catch yourself or find at the market can go into this stew. To not overcook the fish, add it just before serving with thicker slices going in maybe 2 minutes before thinner ones.
- 1/4 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, or a mix of oil and butter
- 3 medium onions, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon each dry oregano and ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon dry basil
- 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1-1/2 cups broth, vegetable or chicken, or water
- 3 tablespoons raisins
- 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar (optional)
- About 2 pounds filleted fish (walleye, perch, eelpout, trout, cod, halibut, etc.) cut into 1-inch pieces.
1. In a 6 to 8 quart pot, heat the oil over medium high. Stir in the onions and sweet pepper with some salt and the black pepper. Cook until golden. Blend in the garlic, herbs, pepper, vinegar and wine. Cook down until almost no liquid is left.
2. Stir in the tomatoes and broth. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in the raisins and cook another 5 minutes uncovered. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, and/or vinegar and sugar to get a well seasoned, sweet tart balance.
3. Have the stew at a slow bubble. Slip in the thickest pieces of fish. Cook 1 minute and add the thinner cuts. Cook just until firm (maybe 30 seconds). Ladle the stew into bowls. Rice or stubby noodles taste great with the stew, as does beer.