Salt Fish Stew

An inexpensive and nourishing dish, Salt Fish Stew may be served with boiled rice and a crisp green salad. If you do not like very highly seasoned food, use only one chilli or omit them altogether.

1 lb. salt cod, soaked overnight in cold water, rinsed and drained

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 green chillis, seeded and finely chopped

6 medium-sized tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

14 oz. canned sweetcorn, drained

2 tablespoons chopped spring onions

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

10 fl. oz. chicken stock

1 tablespoon beurre manic

Place the fish in a medium-sized saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to the boil over high heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and drain the fish in a colander.

Remove and discard the skin and bones from the fish. Cut the fish into 1-inch cubes and set aside.

In a medium-sized flameproof cas-serole, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions, garlic and chillis and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Add the fish to the casserole and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the fish is lightly browned.

Stir in the tomatoes, sweetcorn, spring onions , salt, sugar and pepper. Pour over the chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the stew for 25 minutes or until the fish flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.

With a wooden spoon, stir in the beurre manie, in small pieces, and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove the casserole from the heat.

Pour the stew into a heated serving dish and serve immediately.

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