Monday, May 3, 2010
Caribbean Fish Stew with Dumplings
I'm not sure what these should be called, but the dumplings in this recipe are unlike any I've encountered before. These were made of typical dumpling materials (flour, water, salt) and cooked in a typical dumpling fashion (boiled until bobbing and then some) but an unusual shape. Dumplings are usually some neat circle-based form like spheres or half-moons, but these looked more like giant slugs.
Specifically I think this is what Hagrid's flobberworms would look like. The dumplings ended up rather long - at least five inches long and a quarter-inch thick - in varying widths. During cooking they kind of twisted into different contortions and ended up looking like meaty fish fillets. I wondered if this recipe started out as one of those "Ritz apple pie" fake-out dishes that makes a cheaper ingredient simulate an expensive one - in this case flour for fish.
The recipe did call for real fish and I used a pound of sole. The fillets were very thin and sort of disintegrated during the cooking, but were still very tasty in the pepper-okra-tomato sauce. The sauce should have been a lot more spicy but I used a humble chipotle instead of the exponentially more fearsome scotch bonnet.
Odd thing about this recipe: the ingredient list includes a sliced scallion and a lime but the instructions don't say what to do with them. I decided to use them as garnishes and I think that worked out all right.
In the future I'd make the sauce spicier and either leave out the dumplings or make them smaller. At present they're just a bit unwieldy for stew. Looked fascinating in the pot though.