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Fish and Seafood

Western Swedish Fish Stew

Henrik Wickelgren serves up a seafood stew fresh from the waters outside the restaurant Vatten in the small port of Skärhamn in Sweden

Serves four

FOR THE FISH BROTH

(You can also buy a ½ liter of high-quality ready-made shellfish stock.Make sure not to thin it too much)

½ kg crustacean shells

2 tsp tomato paste

2 garlic cloves

1 carrot

1 parsnip

1 shallot

1 fennel bulb

2 glasses of white wine

1 l of water

1 tsp chopped dill

10 white peppercorns

1 Tbsp fennel seed

PREPARING THE FISH BROTH

Peel the vegetables and cut into large pieces. Mix with tomato paste and cook for 8 minutes in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Celsius. Bring vegetable mixture to a boil, together with crustacean shells, wine, water and spices. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 30 minutes. Then bring the broth to a boil once again, strain and boil down to reduce the volume by half.

FOR THE FISH STEW

½ packet of saffron

9 carrots

5 parsnips

3 fennel bulbs

2 shallots

1 bunch of green onions

2 garlic cloves

2 cups tomato juice

300 ml cream

2 Tbsp butter

2 glasses white wine

800 grams of a white fish (two kinds, e.g., cod and ling)

12 mussels

150g peeled shrimp

4 boiled prawns

Fresh dill and watercress

DIRECTIONS

Cut 1 carrot, 1 parsnip and 1 fennel bulb into small piecees. Peel and dice one shallot and one garlic clove. Sauté these vegetables with saffron in a pan, add fish broth and tomato juice and simmer 30 min. over a low flame. Finally, purée the mixture with butter and cream to a creamy sauce using a hand-held blender.

Precook all potatoes until almost tender. Halve the remaining fennel bulbs and precook them, as well. Cut the remaining vegetables into large pieces and sauté them all together. Drain briefly on a paper towel.

Cut the fish into bite-size pieces and steam in 1 glass of white wine and some water on a low flame until tender.

Chop the last shallot and sauté in oil, add mussels, pour the remaining wine over them and steam until the mussels open wide. (Important: do not use unopened mussels!)

Halve prawns lengthwise, stir-fry with oil in a pan together with one coarsely chopped garlic clove. The garlic is not used again.

Arrange components on plates, pour the fish broth over them and garnish with dill and watercress.

This recipie comes to us courtesy of Henrik Wickelgren at Vatten in Skärhamn, Sweden.