Fish – any kind you like, skinned, boned, cut into 1″chunks
Prawns (shelled), clams, squid (cut into rings) – optional
Half a medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Half a sweet pepper – optional
Half a standard tin of tomatoes
One medium potato (or half a large one), scrubbed and cut into chunks
Vegetables, chopped (green beans, peas, carrots – whatever’s to hand)
2 fresh chillies (optional)
Fresh coriander, chopped
Oil for frying
*Just boil prawn heads and shells in a little water for 5 minutes, skimming off the scum, then drain and reserve the liquid. If I have prawn shels and no immediate need for stock, I make it anyway then boil it right down and freeze it in a yoghurt pot – with herbs and lemon juice, it makes a nice sauce for fried fish. If prawns aren’t available, use stock made from half a vegetable stock cube.
Fry the chopped onion gently until brown, add the chopped garlic and fry a couple of minutes longer. Tip into saucepan. If using sweet pepper, fry it gently until soft, and add to saucepan. Swill out the frying pan with a little water and add that to the saucepan. Add the stock, tinned tomatoes (break them up a bit) with a little of the juice (or all of it, if it’s the 2nd half of the tin) and the potatoes, with enough water to cover them. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Add the vegetables and continue simmering until they are just/almost cooked, then add the fish. Cook 5 mins more and stir in the coriander. Add salt if you need it.
Fish out the whole chillies and serve with crusty bread.
For a more Mediterranean version I omit the potatoes and coriander and add a few halved black olives and a teaspoon of dried oregano.
Or turn it into a fish curry by adding a couple of teaspoons of curry powder with the garlic and halving the amount of tinned tomato. For this version you don’t need stock really. Sometimes I throw in some coconut milk too.