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French Fish Chowder

3/4 lb. skinless, boneless codfish
3/4 lb. skinless, boneless Halibut or red Snapper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1 cup diced red or green pepper
2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. saffron stems (opt.)
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
4 cups fish broth or water
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup orzo
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley
Garlic croutons (see recipe)

Cut the fish into 1 inch cubes. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or kettle, and add the onions, celery, garlic and peppers. Cook, stirring, over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Add turmeric, saffron, wine, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, pepper flakes, fish broth or water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the orzo, stir well and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes or until the orzo is tender. Add the fish, stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle with basil and serve with the garlic croutons.

4 to 6 servings

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