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New England Halibut Stew

Reminiscent of New England chowder, this hearty fish stew needs only a green salad and a basket of chowder biscuits or crusty flatbread to make a satisfying supper. For New England authenticity, you could add some clams.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb. thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 lb. small red potatoes, diced
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or bottled clam juice
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 1/2 lb. halibut fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the bacon until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Add the onion, celery, carrots and potatoes to the pot, increase the heat to medium-high, and sauté just until the vegetables are softened and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbs. of the thyme. Add the broth, cream and wine and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the reserved bacon.

Add the fish, cover and cook until the fish is opaque throughout and the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the stew into warmed bowls and garnish with the remaining 1 Tbs. thyme. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking, by Melanie Barnard, Charles Pierce & Denis Kelly (Oxmoor House, 2008).