I know. You’re shocked. Cooking, here at bipolarlawyercook?
What’s up with that?
Here, let me get out the smelling salts before I start posting pictures and recounting the recipe and proving that yeah, that “cook” thing in my handle isn’t there just for show.
I know. I had to pick the poor Better Half up off the floor too. Moreover, I had to enlist the poor bastard in prepping the stew, it’d been so long since I’d been home on a weeknight and had the day off and had the time to go grocery shopping (thank you, endless round of close shifts and emotional exhaustion prior to job transfer, whut?) But he was a champ, and we got it done, which was good, because today was one of those first raw fall blustery days where you’re (or maybe just me, but still) all– “Hmm. SOUP. Yeah.”
This tasty, gluten-free, low-carbish (just leave out the rice and brown sugar if you so choose) white fish stew is DELICIOUS. And not really a chowder despite my sojourn this past weekend in Provincetown on the Cape (and more, perhaps, sometime, on how the leather daddies and their boys knew my college best friend and I weren’t together but the lesbians all seemed to give us the “you’re a cute couple” nod, which I thought was lolrarious) stew is Thai-flavored, delicious, and except for a little chopping for prep, quick-cooking and easy to make.
It comes straight from Melissa Clark’s new book In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite , a cookbook I am very much enjoying and littering with postit notes at night in my bed. Clark writes regularly for the NYT, and I’ve made several recipes of hers over this spring and summer that were solid hits that I just haven’t gotten around to posting about (including her OMG gazpacho with yogurt which you should go google right now). (I’ve been COOKING. I’ve just been remiss in blogging. I know. You’re shocked.)
I tweaked the recipe in one way that departs from the highly copyright violative way in which I am about to just post the following photo of the recipe straight from the book: I rinsed and chopped one smallish zucchini, halved it lengthwise, then halved it again and cut it into thin quarter slices, to be added in at the last stage with the fish.
As for the rest: the BH does not care for shellfish, so I used 1 lb. wild-caught George’s Bank cod in place of the variety recommended, since the snapper was farmed and I just … don’t like farmed fish, no matter what people may say about safety. I served it with Jasmine rice, wicked lazy style– Trader Joe’s sells some frozen (I shit you not) in little microwavable bags and I zapped one to serve on the side and spoon into the bowl. You could skip it if you’re counting your carbs. Likewise, the recipe calls for 1 tbsp. brown sugar for that authentic Thai-ish kind of taste. I have a feeling you could add in agave nectar in equal proportion right before serving if you were watching your sugar and get about the same flavor, though I haven’t tried it.
So. Recipe. (I know. Going to hell. At least I will have been well fed on the way…):
Mise en place, aka all that shit you need to get started.
And then, by the magic of my being too lazy to take a picture of what’s really a very fast process– seriously, stir the shallots and garlic until tender in oil, then add the liquid and simmer 10 minutes before adding the fish and the zucchini and cooking three minutes more– we have the finished product.
Voila. Pretty, pretty coconut fish stew with basil and lemongrass. And zucchini. Because I’m subversive in adding veggies like that.
Here’s the version with rice, in case you want to know what it looks like all fragrant-steamy with the added odor of Jasmine rice mixing in with the coconut milk and the lime juice and fish stew loveliness.
Thus ends my fish tale, all of it totally true. Especially the part about my violating copyright by posting the recipe picture. Although adding the zucchini arguably transforms this whole post into fair use.
I think I’ll have some more soup and not worry instead. It’s that kind of soup.