I had the luck to try this Californian fish stew in a fisherman’s restaurant at Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, and have been an admirer ever since. It’s miles easier than bouillabaisse and will work, apart from the fish, with store-cupboard ingredients. Like all fisherman’s stews, it relies on bits and pieces unsold after the day’s catch, so don’t be too pernickety about what you buy.
1lb white fish cod, haddock, halibut, monkfish etc.
Handful of North Atlantic prawns, cooked and shelled
Handful of clams and mussels
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
¼ bottle dry white wine
½ tin tomatoes
½ pint chicken stock
2 Peppadew hot and sweet piquanté peppers (see above)
Parsley, salt and pepper
Heat oil in a pan, and sweat the chopped onion and garlic. When they are soft, add the tomatoes, chopped Peppadew, stock and wine. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the white fish and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the clams and mussels, and cook for two minutes. Add the prawns and cook for another two minutes. Stir in the parsley, and serve with hot French bread.