Catalan fish stew


PREP 20 mins

COOK 50 mins

·         125g/4½ oz blanched almonds or hazelnuts

·         4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

·         6 garlic cloves, finely sliced

·         ½ tsp crushed dried chilies

·         1 bay leaf

·         1 onion, finely sliced

·         1½ red peppers, finely sliced lengthways

·         1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

·         2 pinches of saffron strands

·         50ml/2fl oz brandy

·         140g/5oz chopped tomatoes

·         250ml/9fl oz white wine

·         700g/1lb 9oz firm, thick white fish fillets (monkfish, haddock or cod), cut into 5-7cm pieces

·         4 large raw prawns, shells on

·         12 mussels, scrubbed and cleaned

·         12 clams, scrubbed and cleaned

·         large handful parsley, chopped

·         juice ½ lemon


Catalan fish stew

Catalan fish stew

Ground nuts enrich the smoky, tomatoes sauce of this fish stew. The sauce can be made ahead, then all you need to do is add the fish at the last minute, just before you want to serve it.

Begin by toasting the nuts. Scatter them over a baking tray and set it under a medium grill for 5-7 mins until turning golden. Stir them a few times so that they brown evenly, and make sure you keep an eye on them, otherwise they'll burn. Allow to cool, then grind the nuts using a mortar and pestle or a food processor. They don't have to be finely ground, but try to avoid any large lumps.

In a wide non-stick frying pan that has a lid, heat the oil and gently fry the garlic, dried chilies and bay leaf for 2-3 mins until the garlic starts to turn golden. Lower the heat and add the onion and red peppers. Gently cook for 15-20 mins until the vegetables are very soft.

Stir in the smoked paprika and saffron, and continue to cook for a few mins so that the spices can release their flavors. Add the brandy and boil for 1 min or so until nearly evaporated, then add the tomatoes. Cook gently for a further 5 mins before adding the wine, a few pinches of salt and some black pepper, cook gently for a further 7-10 mins until the tomatoes have completely broken down.

Lower the heat and add the ground nuts to the dish. Season the pieces of fish with a little salt before pushing them into the sauce, along with the prawns, mussels and clams. Cover with a lid. Cook gently for 5-7 mins until the fish is just cooked and the shells of the mussels and clams have opened. Discard any shells that have not opened. Test for seasoning before gently stirring the parsley through and squeezing the lemon juice over the dish. Serve in bowls with crusty bread.

PER SERVING 608 kcals, protein 50g, carbs 17g, fat 31g, sat fat 3g, fibre 3g, sugar 13g, salt 0.8g

Satisfying stew that freezes well

Gammon & bean stew


PREP 10 mins

COOK 1 hr 20 mins

·         1 tbsp olive oil

·         800g/1lb 12oz piece unsmoked gammon

·         1 onion, finely chopped

·         200ml/7fl oz white wine

·         1 thyme sprig

·         2 carrots, cut into chunks

·         2 parsnips, cut into chunks

·         400g can flageolet beans, drained and rinsed

·         400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed

·         4 medium potatoes, cut in half

·         200g/7oz frozen petits pois

·         crusty bread, to serve (optional)

Gammon & bean stew

Gammon & bean stew

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the gammon and brown on the meaty sides - this will take about 10 mins. Remove from the pan.

Add the onion to the pan and cook for 5 mins until soft. Return the gammon to the pan, pour over the wine and allow to sizzle for 1 min.

Add the thyme, carrots, parsnips, beans, potatoes and peas. Pour over 400ml water, then season. Cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hr.

Remove the gammon from the pan. Take off the fatty rind and discard it, then cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Put these back into the stew and warm through. Serve with bread, if you like.

PER SERVING 403 kcals, protein 31g, carbs 32g, fat 14g, sat fat 4g, fiber 10g, sugar 9g, salt 3.2g

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