Fish Stew with Spicy Sausage and Potatoes

by Emily Kemme

While a fish stew often summons rustic, hearty pictures of a fisherman’s stew, this version is lighter thanks to technique. Poached white fish with a firm texture such as cod, halibut, red snapper, or tilapia partners with spicy Calabrese salami, smoked paprika, and a hint of aromatic saffron. It’s still fish stew. But expect delicate flavors that ably highlight each of the special ingredients.

Fish Stew with Spicy Sausage and Potatoes Recipe

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup diced shallots

3 ounces Calabrese dry salami, halved

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika

1 – 8 ounce bottle clam juice

1/4 tsp saffron threads, crumbled and dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water

1 cup water

1/2 cup dry white wine

5 new red potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds

1 bay leaf

1 pound cod filets, cut into 1 inch pieces

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley


The spice saffron comes from the crocus flower. The styles and stigmas are collected and dried. Saffron provides beautiful orange-yellow color to dishes, as well as a delicate, sweet grass essence. Soaking in warm water helps release the threads’ flavor.

To Cook:

Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Add salami to skillet and more oil, if necessary. Sauté salami until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and paprika, stirring to coat shallot mixture. Warm for 30 seconds to release essences.

Add clam juice, saffron threads with water, water, wine, potatoes, and the bay leaf. Bring ingredients to a low simmer, cover pan and cook for 10 minutes.

Add fish to skillet, spooning sauce over to cover. Return lid to skillet and simmer on low until the fish is cooked through and is translucent, about 15-20 minutes. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper broth to taste. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Serve fish stew in shallow bowls sprinkled with parsley.

Serves 4.




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