The title is kind of a pun. Yes, my kitchen is little, although bigger than my first apartment kitchen, although the appliances are smaller. But this recipe was inspired by a dish I had for lunch at An Chistin Beag, which is the Irish for The Little Kitchen. It's a small place in the center of Skibbereen, with a handful of tables, and the women who run it put out very good food. The seafood stew was on the menu when I ate there a week ago (not for the first time!).
There it was served in small bowls, which was a nice size for one person. Here at the cottage I needed to serve two people. All the ramekins I saw were tiny (about half a cup) and weren't suitable for cooking, so I opted for a midsize casserole dish, which was just right for two.
Okay, recipe: it's lovely chunks of fresh fish (I bought half a kilo at the fishmonger's in Union Hall yesterday morning--it doesn't get fresher than that) poached in milk and stock. The fish goes into the casserole, and you thicken the liquid and pour it over. Then you top the whole with mashed potatoes and some grated local cheese and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes or so, and you're done!
Seafood Stew from An Chistin Beag
(Note: measurements here would make one largish casserole, or two medium ones)
mixed bits of fish (I used a mix of salmon and an unidentified white fish)--half a pound would serve two, a pound serves four nicely. The fish should be in chunks about an inch square
3 cups cooking liquid--I used a mix of milk and chicken stock (I didn't have any fish stock on hand)
half an onion
a few sprigs of parsley
more parsley, chopped
a dash of dried thyme
salt and pepper
3 Tblsp butter
3 Tblsp flour
2-3 cups homemade mashed potatoes, fresh or left-over
1/2 cup coarsely grated cheese (I used a locally-made cheddar)
Put the fish pieces in a deep saucepan and pour the liquid over them. Toss in the half-onion and the parsley. Set over low heat and simmer until the fish is cooked but still tender.
Drain the fish in a colander, reserving the cooking liquid, pull out the half-onion and the parsley, and place in a casserole.
In another pan, melt 3 Tblsp butter, then add the flour and whisk together. Let the mixture cook over low heat to cook the flour. Then add the cooking liquid, whisking constantly, and cook until the mixture thickens. Add the chopped parsley, thyme, salt and pepper and mix. Pour the thickened liquid over the fish in the casserole.
Spoon the mashed potatoes over the fish and spread gently to cover completely. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.
|I made mine--no leftovers!)|
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, enough to heat the dish through and brown the top just a bit. Don't overdo it if you want the lovely fresh fish to be tender.
Can I stay in Ireland longer? I only just got the kitchen organized, and added the last piece of furniture yesterday, and there's still painting and patching to do, and the garden needs sorting, and... In the spring? My police friend says the daffodils will be blooming.
I have so many new story ideas! I'll get back to work by next week. Really.
|Sunset at Garryglass|