A classic Alaska favorite from Kirsten and Mandy Dixon, mother and daughter duo that have been sharing their recipes and stories of land, food, and fishing in their beautiful cookbook, Living Within the Wild. This recipe is from their time at girl's fish camp at their Tutka Bay Lodge.
Tutka Bay Fish Stew
Excerpt from Living Within the Wild:
Of all the variations on fish stew, soup, and chowder, this is Kirsten's favorite. There's a definite Spanish vibe with the addition of almonds to the stew. In our cooking classes, we teach students to grate the tomatoes on the large holes of a cheese grater for ease.
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ cup blanched almonds
Leaves from 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
6 cups plus 2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade chicken stock
8 red fingerling potatoes
1 yellow onion, diced
4 tomatoes, grated or diced
Pinch of saffron threads
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
½ cup sparkling white wine
2 lbs Popsie wild caught Cod, cut into small pieces
1 lb Popsie wild caught Halibut, cut into small pieces
In a small sauté pan, warm 2 TB of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until aromatic and translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Let the garlic and oil cool slightly and then pour into a blender. Add the almonds, parsley, paprika, and 2 TB chicken stock and blend until a paste forms. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 6 TB of the oil. Add the potatoes and onion and sauté until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and saffron and sauté for a few minutes longer. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Pour in the wine and sauté for a few minutes until the alcohol cooks off. Then, add the remaining 6 cups chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a light simmer.
Add the cod and halibut to the slowly simmering broth (adjust the heat if necessary) and cook until the potatoes are tender and the fish is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
Season the stew to taste with salt. Stir in the garlic-almond mixture and cook until the flavors are combined, about 5 more minutes.
Ladle the stew into bowls and serve hot.
The recipe calls for cod and halibut but sockeye salmon is a great replacement for either!