Mixed Fish Stew - Eel, European Sea Bass, Gilthead Seabream

Fish stew from various fish species is one of my favorite delicacies. A fatty fish (Eel) is combined with two white fish (European Sea Bass and Gilthead Seabream) to create a festival for senses ...

eel for fish stewEel is a fish with relatively high content of fats and it has very special taste and flavor. Due to its fats, amount of olive oil is reduced.

It takes some time and practice to clean the eel - hint: use newspapers or some similar material to hold to the eel.

If the eel is alive, sorry, but you (or someone else) will have to make a cut on the eel's neck - even then one can have problems with slippery fish moving around.

preparing a fish stewOne European Sea Bass and Gilthead Seabream completes the fish selection for this fish stew.
preparing a fish stewUsing sharp knife cut the fish into the suitable sized pieces.

preparing a fish stewPut a tablespoon of olive oil into the pot and apply moderate heat.

Add some sliced onions and a clove of garlic (no need for more garlic) and gently mix everything.

preparing a fish stewWhen onions are golden brown, add some crushed tomatoes, some salt, pepper, a leaf of laurel (laurel is strong herb, so careful with a laurel) and other spices and herbs according to your personal wishes.
preparing a fish stewAdd some good white wine - alcohol will evaporate, but taste and fragrance will stay in the stew.

preparing a fish stewAdd eels and let them cook for 10-15 minutes. Add some water so that fish is always in liquid.

Note: some people like to fry eel on onions and garlic, before adding crushed tomatoes, herbs and wine. This gives little bit different flavor to the eels and to the stew - which is also great one. You will not know until you try, so feel free to try it :)

preparing a fish stewAdd rest of the fish, add some more water so that all of the fish is covered with liquid.

preparing a fish stewLet the stew boil and then reduce the heat, but it must boil.

Fish stew should be cooked for 15-20 more minutes, depending on the size of the fish and applied heat.

Note: don't mix the stew, just shake the pot gently from time to time. And don't put a lid onto the pot.

preparing a fish stewFish stew is done - now, turn of the heat and only then put a lid onto the pot and let everything settle down for 15-20 minutes.

preparing a fish stewIn the mean time, one can prepare a side dish - in this case a polenta.

Suitable side dishes are also a boiled potatoes, vegetable mix and similar.

Serve warm with whole grain bread and suitable drinks, like wine.

Note on wine: generally, white wine lessens the taste of the fish, while red wine heightens fish aroma and fragrance. This combination of three fish species has great aroma and fragrance and I used white wine for cooking the stew. Why? I wanted to add some specific aroma to fish stew, not just to amplify fish taste.

Fish stew made using plenty of fatty and strong tasting fish requires strong red wine, but if eel is just an aroma enhancer, then some easy and smooth white wine will do just fine.

So, what wine to drink with fish stew - that is all up to personal preferences and this is one of the things that I really like about fish stews.