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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cooking Up Sheep Head Fish Stew and Checking Out The New Open Air Fish Market in San Diego

I have been a big fan and supporter of the San Diego Fishermen's Working Group for years; so I was super excited they would be a part of the new open air fish market in San Diego (locate on Fish Harbor Pier, near Tuna Harbor between the USS Midway Museum and Seaport Village- from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays). The plan for the market (which is only a few weeks old) is to have the fishermen pull up to the pier to drop of thier catch to be sold whole that morning. The feel will be similar to a farmers market, (not vegetable vendors) but just tons of fresh local fish!!
FYI; you are going to want to get to the market early if you want to get what you really want.
I was on the pier at 7:30 am and the line was already about 50 people deep.
This past Saturday I was invited to be a part of a great seafood event on the pier. Where is did a little cooking demonstration (more of a cooking talk thanks to the wind).
 I made a fabulous seafood stew with local sheep head.
This simple fish stew is a great way to use all types of seafood (not just delsih Sheep Head) well as a wonderful way to use the whole fish you buy at the market. Once you have the fillets of the fish you can use the bones and the any fish scraps to make a fish stock to use in this recipes as well as lots of other recipes.
Here is the recipe...I will also be making a variation of this recipe on
Sunday August 24 for Collaboration Kitchen!

Fisherman's Stew
Serves 6

10                         Garlic cloves
¼ cup                   Tomato paste
4 tbsp                   Unsalted butter
1 cup                    Celery, small dice
1 cup                    Onion, small dice
¾ tsp                    Dried crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp                     Dried oregano
3 cups                   Fish stock
1 (14.5 oz) can     Diced tomatoes, drained
1 ½ cups               Water
2 sprigs                 Thyme
2                           Bay leaves
4 sprigs                 Parsley
4                           Peppercorns
Salt and pepper to taste

3 lb            Mixed seafood – Fish fillets, skin off and bones removed- cut into ½ inch cubes,   Scallops, Clams or mussels (cleaned and debearded),  Rock Crab, cracked and cut into pieces

8 to 12 slices        Baguette, cut on a bias, ½ inch thickness

3 tbsp                   Fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Place garlic cloves into a saucepot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove garlic from liquid and mash with the back of a fork, to a paste. Add tomato paste and small amount of “boiling liquid”, stir to combine.
In a large saucepot melt butter over medium low heat, add onion and celery. Sauté till translucent. Add red chili flake and sauté till fragrant.
Stir in dried oregano and tomato paste mixture, slowly pour in fish stock, stirring constantly to remove any lumps.
Add tomatoes and water.
Combine thyme, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns in cheese cloth and tie with butchers twine. Add cheese cloth bundle to the pot and cook uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.
Add fish, scallops, mussels, etc.* into the pot, cover and cook until fish is firm and mussels open. Ladle soup in to bowls, top with 2 pieces of toasted bread and sprinkle with herbs.

*When adding seafood to the pot; the larger items like crab would go in fist (about 15 minute total cooking time), followed buy you fish, mussels, shrimp (5 to 8 min total cooking time), lastly your small scallops and cooked seafood (2 minutes total cooking time).

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