2 large washed, unpeeled carrots, chopped -- large or small chunks, as you like
2 celery stalks, plus inner leaves chopped
1 large onion or 2-3 shallots, chopped finely
1 red chili pepper, de-seeded and chopped very finely (omit this if you don't want any 'kick' to the stew)
1 Tablespoon chopped frozen garlic or 3 gloves chopped fresh garlic
2 small courgette, split in half and chopped into chunks
2 cans chopped tomatoes (I always use 1 can of cherry-tomatoes, if available)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 large or 4 small frozen cod filets(about 16 ounces or 500 grams -- about 1/2 kg)
1 large bag of frozen uncooked large(king) prawns/shrimp
1 glassful white wine
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp. dried
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
splash hot pepper sauce, if desired, for extra 'kick' if you like it VERY hot
salt and pepper, to taste
Let olive oil spread hot over a medium heat in a large stock/stew/soup pot. Add all chopped vegetables and sautee` until soft. Add canned tomatoes and an additional 2 cans of water (rinses out remaining tomatoes, too!) and bring to a gentle boil for about 8 minutes. Now gently add all fish and bring to a gentle boil (this will take another 5-8 minutes) and then lower the heat to simmer for about 15-20 minutes more. While it is simmering, splash in the white wine and add the herbs and hot pepper sauce. When it is done, add salt and pepper, to taste and keep on low heat.
Low-fat Corn Bread -- Preheat oven to 190 C or 400 F. SCANTLY grease a 9 inch square tin with oil, baking margarine, or butter.
2 1/2 cups ground corn meal or polenta meal
3/4 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
skimmed milk -- enough to just wet mixture
Sift dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Mix egg and yogurt together in small bowl. Add egg/yogurt to dry ingredients. Add milk to whole mixture just enough to wet to thick pouring consistency. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and springs back in center.
Serve fish stew in large bowls with a square or two of warm corn bread! Or you can serve with crusty bread or garlic cheese bread, if feeling indulgent. This recipe feeds at least 4 persons, generously or 6 people.
PS -- no bread if you follow a carbohydrate-free diet of some sort -- Paleo, Atkins, for example. It's still a filling meal!