Note: fact-checking and scientific research were used in the creation of this article, but the views expressed are opinions and not based on original research by TinCanFish.
There’s no time like winter to dig into some new recipes and test your chef skills along with your taste buds. Winter is also a season when many of us are more vulnerable to illnesses - flu, colds, and of course, strains of the coronavirus. As we navigate harsh weather and challenging social phenomena, we can turn to a delicious category of food for both health and joy: fish.
Below are 4 winter fish recipes to try out this season.
Every coastal culture in the world has a version of fish soup. And many of these soups come with a heaping bowl of tradition, ritual, and taste. Depending on the culinary flavors of your favorite dishes, you can surely find a soup fish to fit in the mix perfectly.
In addition to being tasty, fish soup packs some serious nutritional punch. For example, in these bobbing broths are necessary omega 3 fatty acids and high-quality proteins.
Here’s an Icelandic fish soup recipe, also known as fiskisupa, inspired by Abra’s kitchen.
First, the ingredients:
- 1.5 lbs halibut or other white fish (such as cod)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek, about 1 cup sliced
- 3 stalks celery, about 1/2 cup diced
- 1 medium onion, about 1.5 cups diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 3/4 lb potatoes, cut into 1" chunks about 4 small Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped (optional)
Optional garnishes include a tablespoon of chopped chives if you have them and some celery leaves for added color.
To begin with, heat olive oil and butter together in a large pot over medium heat. Add sliced leeks, celery, and onion. Cook until the veggies are soft and more translucent in appearance - around 7 minutes. Then, add salt, curry powder, and tomato paste. Stir well and cook for about 2 minutes - until the pot is emitting a fragrant and delicious smell.
At this point, you can add in the chicken stock and potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are tender - about 15-25 minutes. While you wait for your potatoes to cook, prepare your soup garnish. In a small bowl add 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. Using an electric mixer beat until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Now, add your fish and cook for 2-4 minutes, until just done. Turn off the heat and slowly swirl in 1 cup of heavy cream. Serve the soup with a spoonful of homemade whipped cream, chives, and celery leaves dolloped on top.
Pasta Con La Sardine
Maybe the harsh and frigid shores of Iceland aren’t your cup of tea, er…. soup, I mean. If this is the case, let us travel south to the Iberian peninsula, where fish recipes abound in all sorts of varieties of deliciousness.
Pasta con la sardine, or pasta with sardines, is a classic Iberian dish - and it is also a recipe that is friendly to beginner chefs, just dipping their toes in the broth of winter fish recipes.
This recipe, featured in the New York Times, features currants, fennel, capers, and two heaping pounds of sardines. A mouth-watering combination of flavor that marries fruit, vegetables, grain and, fish into a tangled harmony of lick-smacking flavor.
Paella is another fish recipe that has grown in popularity all over the world, from its ancient origins of what most people agree is Valencia, Spain. It is one of the best-known dishes of Spanish cuisine.
This is also a fun dish because it is easy to incorporate a variety of fish and include or substitute additions based on your preferences (or the eating habits of your family). It’s a meal you can learn to make from great recipes generously shared by famous chefs, while also remaining a recipe you can feel empowered to shift and experiment by following your own taste buds as well.
You can incorporate shrimp, scallops, chorizo, green peas, even squid and octopus. And remember - amongst all the choices of your perfect paella dish, it’s important to prioritize buying your ingredients from companies that maintain sustainable fishing practices.
Fish And Chips
The cozy atmosphere of a dark, boisterous English pub, with a traditional music session happening in the corner and pints placed along the bar, will warm up your frozen winter bones as quickly as that scene. And of course, in a place such as this, a basket of fish and chips is never too far away. For starters, try this basic recipe from the NYT. While simple, it will evoke all the warmth and taste that a cold winter’s night desires.
There are even more fish and chip recipe variations on the internet than there are pubs on the British Isles. Here’s one from the Daring Gourmet, but you can take your pick and even watch a youtube video or two on how best to make the perfectly breaded fish and salty-crunchy fries.
While we all anxiously await the day that the omicron variant passes and we can return to our favorite bars for a hearty meal, we can learn to make these sorts of dishes at home and evoke the feelings in our own kitchens, pay homage to the memory and future hope of gathering together again in the “public house.”