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A Quick Classic: Sea Bass Stew

TIMES FOOD STYLIST

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Caesar salad Sea Bass Stew

Garlic bread Amaretto cookies with fresh berries

Here’s an updated classic--fish stew--that makes a casual yet elegant weeknight dinner.

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Sea bass is the perfect base, since this firm white-fleshed fish holds up well in stews and soups. Be careful not to overcook or it will become tough and dry; simply simmer a few minutes until the fish turns opaque and flakes when tested with a fork. Fresh herbs sprinkled over the stew just before serving will bring out the sweet rich flavor of the fish.

Caesar salad served with crunchy garlic bread complements the flavors of the fish stew. It is easily made by tossing salad greens, croutons, Parmesan cheese and chopped anchovies with a bottled Caesar salad dressing.

Amaretto cookies and chilled sliced strawberries make a great--and easy--ending for your dinner.

SEA BASS STEW Staples

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

Salt

Cayenne pepper

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1 medium onion

1 large carrot

1 large tomato

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2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice

1 (14-ounce) can clear chicken broth

1 pound sea bass fillets

1 bunch basil leaves

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1 bunch thyme leaves

1. Chop 1 onion to measure 1 cup. Chop 1 carrot to measure 1/2 cup. Chop 1 tomato. Mince 2 cloves garlic.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large saucepan. Saute onion, carrot and garlic in oil until tender.

3. Add tomato and saute briefly.

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4. Stir in 2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice and 1 cup chicken broth. Bring to simmer.

5. Add 1 pound sea bass fillets. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

6. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.

7. Cut basil into julienne strips to measure 1 tablespoon. Measure 1 tablespoon thyme leaves. Sprinkle basil and thyme leaves on top of soup. Ladle into bowl and serve with lemon and garlic bread.

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Makes 4 servings.


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