Fish Stew

Adapted from a recipe learned from Byron Noles of Flour Bluff.

2 medium size onions diced (it helps to chop all of the vegetables prior to the beach trip. Put them in storage baggies . It saves lots of chopping and cutting in sandy conditions.)

1 carrot chopped

1 stalk of celery diced

1 large can of crushed or whole peeled tomatoes

1 can rotel tomatoes

4 cloves crushed and minced garlic

3 bay leaves whole

1 small can of niblet corn or one ear of fresh cut from the cob

1 and a half pounds of fish fillets cut into half inch chunks. Whiting, redfish, black drum and sheepshead work well. Shark does too but cook it longer.

One pound bacon or polska Kielbasa style sausage cut into half inch chunks. Chorizo can be substituted as well.

6 medium sized new potatoes or yukon golds - best (russets will work but get mealy) cut into half inch chunks. Larger chunks work fine but take a while longer on the stove.

3 cans of chicken broth and four more of water (variable you can also skip the broth and add more water and a couple of Knorr fish stock or chicken stock cubes)

One chopped chipotle pepper (optional if youre guests are whimps :) )

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

Over medium heat in a large pot, brown the bacon or the sausage first and remove. Then add the celery, carrots and onions and cook until clear. Just about when the onions are clear add the garlic.(over cooked garlic gets bitter) Deglaze the pot with white or red wine or a can of beer , then add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, chili pepper, water, corn, bay leaves, potatoes, and bacon or sausage into the pot. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender and then add your fish and let cook until just done and ready to serve. Scallops and or shrimp can be added or substituted but make sure you add the seafood last to prevent overcooking. Serves at least 8 and with a couple of loaves of garlic bread would serve more. If more people show up add more water and potatoes! Sometimes we throw in some green beans or whatever anyone else has to stretch, bell peppers etc.

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