Blackfish and Tomato Stew

The Brussels sprouts at Quail Hill are ready for harvest, many larger ones at the base of the plants were picked weeks ago but I’m finding the small top sprouts to be tasty and quick to prepare in the pan. Sautéed with a few chopped shallots and a tablespoon of butter they only take a few minutes. This weekend we’re serving them with a blackfish and tomato stew with Israeli cous cous. I like the little pasta balls which require the same amount of cooking time as the 7oz fish fillets (bluefish or weakfish would work with this recipe too).

It’s Thanksgiving organization time so we made our annual family trek to the walking dunes to pick cranberries. With the help of Jessica, Mansell and Whittier the bag filled quickly, we found the most abundant cranberry harvest ever. Saturday was warm and the sky was clear and we all had a lovely time, walking back down the beach was more leisurely than normal, a very nice day.

After the harvest I managed a walk to visit the swans and found all still on the pond, hugging the bank to avoid a west wind. The signets have started to molt and what were grey feathers are followed by white. At first I thought a new variety of swan had migrated in, on closer inspection I realized they were my young friends in new clothing.

For the blackfish and tomato stew:

4, 7oz fish fillets, skins and bones removed
1 cup mirpoix
4 plum tomatoes, sliced in half dusted with fine herb/ salt & pepper
1.5 cups Israeli cous cous
2 cups chicken stock finished with ½ teaspoon of saffron
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pre-heat the oven to 450

Start a large sauté pan over high heat, then add the mirpoix & butter and stir, season with salt and pepper. When the vegetables begin to soften push them aside and place the fillets in the pan, next add the cous cous and stir together with the vegetables. After about 1 minute lift the fillets out and then add the stock/saffron (If you want more seafood flavor use fish stock, ask your fishmonger for the blackfish bones) stir.

Now lay the fillets on top cooked side up and add the herbed tomatoes. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. While that’s cooking begin to prepare the Brussels sprouts.

To plate remove the fillets from the pan first, then spoon the cous cous and tomatoes onto each plate, then top the cous cous with the fish. Finish each plate with Brussels sprouts.

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