Felix Horrorwicky’s catfish curry stew

If there’s anything my friend Felix is proud of it’s his fish stew prowess, and for good reason: there’s this thing he does with lentils, white fish, and spices that can really knock a person’s socks off.  Probably this has something to do with the surprising disparity between the phrase “fish stew” (unpalatable) and the the thing itself (delicious).  Whatever the case, there’s a lot to like: it can be made fancy, with halibut, or the opposite, with any cheap white fish; won’t cause your one-bedroom/ practically studio apartment to reek of fish (but smell sweetly of curry instead); is not only tasty, but also nutritionally comprehensive (Omega-3s!  Vitamin A!  Lycopene!  To name a few!); and is the perfect thing for chilly, rainy, wintry spells.  (Also, the leftovers are killer, even as cold, straight-out-of-fridge fish mush.)

What we have here is Felix Horrorwicky’s Catfish curry stew turned into Waffle Songs’s curryish whiting and accidental-sprout stew.  The “whiting” because it was on sale and not glaringly unethical (if you are at the market and unsure about the species in question you can always text Fishphone, Blue Ocean’s sustainable seafood text messaging service!).  The “accidental-sprout” part was my fault (also God’s).

Oh hi, guys. Welcome

My habit is to soak the living daylights out of beans so they cook faster and digest better but sometimes all they want to do is germinate!  Lentils when they sprout, resemble outsized quinoa, with their funny tails.  These babies can be sprouted accidentally, by soaking too long, or deliberately, with a mason jar and some cheesecloth rubber banded over the mouth—left to drain at a slant.  Rinse them by swishing around and draining twice a day, and in two days you’ll have sprouts.  As sprouts they are sweeter and “plantier” than the normal lentil.

Felix Horrorwicky’s fish stew, the Waffle Songs way

  • yellow onion
  • carrots
  • celery
  • bay leaf
  • garlic
  • a largeish sweet potato
  • canned tomatoes
  • white fish filets
  • spices: cumin, turmeric, cayenne
  • cooked lentils or lentil sprouts
  • chicken stock
  • sweet corn

Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Sauté a yellow onion with a couple carrots, some celery, and a bay leaf or two, and cubed sweet potatoes.  Mince four (or more!) cloves of garlic and throw those in the pot too.  Cut the filets up into friendly sizes, fry them to “firm them up,” according to Felix.  Once they begin to turn from translucent to white, add cumin and tumeric—about a tablespoon of each for now (you can always add more later).  Add cayenne, too, if you like things spicy.

See that fish? It's firm

Add tomatoes, cooked lentils (or lentil sprouts!), chicken stock.

When life gives you chickens, make lemonade

Add frozen sweet corn, if you have it, which I always do.  Let it all simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft.  Pepper generously and adjust the seasoning (Felix likes the turmeric).

A+ leftovers

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February 23, 2010. Tags: , . Soups & stews.

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