Follow by Email:
Like us on facebook


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cotriade - A Fish Stew from Brittany



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We're ready for Christmas here. The manic rush is over and it's time to let the goodwill of the season envelop us. The tree is up, packages have been sent and our last party of the season is behind us. The remainder of the week belongs to the two of us and I've come to relish this quiet time. There are no deadlines to meet and during this lull, I'll pull recipes from my cortex and revel in the tastes and memories of Christmas past. Many of the dishes I'll be making for us during the holiday come from France. They are simple dishes from port cities or the French countryside and they are designed to satisfy, rather than impress. Haute they're not. Today's recipe is for Cotriade, a simple fish stew from Brittany that's often served during réveillon on Christmas Eve. It is to Brittany what bouillabaisse is to Provence, though it is much easier to make. It was originally made with the fishermen's share of the daily catch and each port seemed to have its own recipe for the stew. It always contained at least one kind of white fish, and while it was fortified with potatoes and herbs, it never contained the shellfish commonly associated with bouillabaisse. It is an uncomplicated dish that is completely dependent on the quality of fish used to make it. It can be delicious and it certainly is easy to make. The stew can be on the table in 30 minutes and it can be scaled up or down to feed two or twenty. I had originally intended to make this for our supper on Christmas Eve, however, the cod in the fish market looked so good that I decided we'd have it today instead. While the stew can certainly be ladled into soup bowls and eaten as is, there is a bit of ritual associated with its service. In a proper Breton kitchen, the fish and potatoes would be transferred to a platter and served with a sprinkling of red wine vinegar and fresh black pepper. The broth would be saved and served as an accompaniment in bowls with large croutons, so nothing would go to waste. The recipe I'm sharing today was developed by Mark Bittman. While I added a diced fennel bulb to my stew, I have not included it in the ingredient list below. Once you have a sense of the recipe, you can add other vegetables as you see fit, but I hope you'll try it his way at least once. This simple nourishing soup is now considered to be a luxury dish and I think it is one you really will enjoy. Here's the recipe.

Cotriade - Brittany Fish Stew...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
1/2 cup bacon
6 cups fish or chicken stock
2 large onions
2 pounds filets of white fish
1 pound baking potatoes
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions:
1) In a large, deep saucepan or casserole set over high heat, add minced bacon, roughly chopped onion, potatoes (peeled and cut into small chunks), salt and freshly ground pepper, thyme and stock. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2) Add fish (cut into 1-1/2 to 2-inch chunks); cook, stirring until it cooks through, about 5 minutes. Squeeze lemon over stew; garnish with parsley. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.








One Year Ago Today: Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles















Two Years Ago Today: Walnut Coffee Cake

27 comments:

Chiara said...

Seems easy to make..It's perfect for me Mary, thanks for sharing!Have a good day...

Au and Target said...

This is very typical of Northern Spain too. love it!

Alessandra said...

Ciao Mary,

for a change I have a fish post too, although I was the dish of the day :-).

it is here http://alessandrazecchini.blogspot.com/2011/12/fish-spa-in-singapore.html

ciao
Alessandra

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I love fish stew, but I have never thought of putting bacon in to it, thanks for the idea. Happy holidays Diane

Kurinji said...

Yummy and delicious recipe...
kurinjikathambam

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

What a delicious dinner you would have had tonight. I love the ingredients, and it seems like perfect French food

Big Dude said...

Sounds delicious and I like the simplicity of it.

StephenC said...

I love fish stews and have to wonder why it's been quite a while since I've made one. It's one of the enduring advantages of the blogosphere to be given lovely reminders of things. Thanks, Mary.

Foodycat said...

It sounds delicious! Like a French chowder.

Sue/the view from great island said...

This, or a version of it, is a staple in our house all winter. Sounds like you have a cozy week ahead of you, enjoy! My two girls are now once again under my roof, and I'm up before dawn with a couple of wide awake pups and a good cup of coffee---Merry Christmas!

That Girl said...

Sometimes those simple dishes are just as impressive as the complicated ones.

Tracy Wood said...

A beautiful bowl of stew - and a nice picture you painted with your words of a quiet home, ready for the holiday! I love eating just a bit lighter around the holidays in preparation of the big meals ahead, and this looks like just the trick.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Sounds wonderful and I love your idea of adding fennel!! You've hooked me on that one! blessings ~ tanna

Kim said...

This fish stew looks perfect to me!

Kay Heritage said...

I adore good fish stew and this looks scrumptious, especially with bacon! Merry Christmas to you, Mary, and thank you for all your beautiful recipes and sweet encouragement through the year! :)

Jenn said...

As much as I love fish, I have never actually had a fish stew. How strange is that? This sounds like a deliciously easy recipe.. will definitely be trying it soon!

Susan said...

Very lovely stew that I know we would love. Like the idea of fennel also...with fish....delightful.

Rita said...

We really love fish stew and this one would make my husband VERY happy.
Wishing you and your family Merry Christmas; enjoy the holidays.
Rita

Anna said...

This looks to be the only fish stew I would want to eat ;) Hope you have a lovely holiday season!!

Claudia said...

Our holidays are slowly (very slowly) starting to quiet down. We still run to different homes for the Eve and the day - but already there is a bit more time to savor. While some are wishing for the manic Christmas Eve of yore with the 21 grandkids - they are grown and splintering off to new holiday traditions - and that is how it should be. I savor the idea of bringing Christmas past into the home with the old dishes. And will be doing this. The Italian also would make a fish stew and serve the fish separate from the broth. I love the simplicity. (And will add the fennel bulb) I wish you and the Silver Fox a very Merry Christmas and a joyful holiday weekend.

cocinamarroqui said...

Good food for Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
The best thing for you.

Sincere kisses

Gloria said...

Delicious:) dear Mary I whish you a very nice and Happy Christmas with all yours:)

Elena said...

So easy to make! Thanks, I really need this kind of recipe.

Valérie said...

Warming and hearty, yet not too heavy - great recipe! Happy holidays to you and your family!

Joanne said...

I love how simple this is! definitely peasant food and definitely delicious.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Before today when you told me what this dish was called (and how wonderfully exotic it is that it from Brittany), this was just fish stew to me. Back home in Newfoundland, my Mom would cook this dish every few weeks, usually with good ole Newfie codfish! Perhaps I'll make this on Xmas Eve!

France@beyondthepeel said...

It's been over two decades since we celebrated a reveillon (family stuff) but the memories we had were of fabulous evenings with fabulous food, family and friends. I look forward to trying your soup. SO simple and beautiful.

AddThis

Related Posts with Thumbnails