Dalmatian Brodetto (fish stew) with Creamy Parmigiano-Reggiano Polenta

Discussion in 'The Cookbook' started by Bluesbishop, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Bluesbishop

    Bluesbishop Active Member

    Dalmatian Brodetto (fish stew) with Creamy Parmigiano-Reggiano Polenta

    This is a wonderful easy to make dish that every seafood lover is sure to love. I first had this dish over 25 years ago while visiting my brother and his wife in California. His wife and her family were immigrants from Croatia and this was a traditional family dish. Being from Chicago, I had many Slavic dishes in the past, but this was new to my taste buds.

    The combination of the fish, the acids from the tomatoes and vinegar along with the creaminess and texture of the polenta was a taste experience that I newer forgot. Many years later I was lucky enough to have my brother's wife Vesna make this for us in my home.I think hers was even more delicious than I remember her mothers to be.

    The beauty of this dish is you can use almost any seafood you like, even though traditionally it is made with a variety of rock fishes, sea bass, cuttle fish and regional bivalves.

    I lost the orginal recipe years ago, but have made my own variety of this dish based upon memory and fish that I can get locally. I used Cod(inexpensive and holds up well) Shrimp (I live in a the coastal town on the Gulf of Mexico) and Mussels. Feel free to experiment and add what you like.

    I hope that your family enjoys this dish as much as I enjoy making this.

    Ingredients for Brodetto
    1 1/2 lbs of Cod fish

    2 lbs of Mussels

    1 lb of white shrimp, cleaned and shells removed

    1/4 cup of olive oil

    1 medium onion, sliced and halved

    a small bunch of fresh chopped parsley

    29 oz can of Tomato Puree

    2 14.5 oz cans of stewed tomatoes

    4 cloves of garlic, pressed

    32 oz of Vegetable stock (you can use fish stock if your prefer)

    salt and pepper to taste

    2 tablespoons of white vinegar

    Ingredients for Creamy Parmigiano-Reggiano Polenta
    32 oz of Chicken stock

    1/2 cup of milk

    1/2 cup of half and half

    4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

    1 teaspoon of salt

    1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano ( the real stuff, non of the fake!)

    1 3/4 cups of yellow corn meal

    Direction for Fish Stew

    Cut the Cod fish into 2 inch pieces, clean the shrimp and mussels and set aside.

    Chop the onion, and crush the garlic in a garlic press; Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil and parsley. Add the salt and pepper and sweat till translucent.

    Add tomato puree, stewed tomatoes, and Vegetable stock, let come to boil, then add in the Vinegar, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

    Add the seafood, bring back up to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer.It doesn't take long for seafood to cook, dish is down when Mussels open and shrimp have turned color. DO NOT OVER COOK

    Direction for Polenta
    In Large saucepan bring chicken stock to a rolling boil. Add Salt.

    Add Milk and half and half

    Gradually pour in corn meal

    Whisk constantly to avoid clumping, while stirring in butter

    Reduce the heat to low and cook until mixture thickens.(10- 15 minutes)

    Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano

    To serve, spoon polenta into bowl about 1/3 of the way top remainder with fish stew.... make sure you spoon from bottom and get polenta with every bite!



    Mechguy and KLF like this.
  2. Azarius

    Azarius Must have had his WHEATies

    I had no idea that you had even made this, much less posted on your food blog.

    This is one of those stews that I could eat weekly, I love it so much. We will try different shellfish, but usually use langustinos, and green lipped mussels. Instead of the fresh cod, it is traditional made with salted cod, but I like it either way.

    Nice interruption of a peasant meal found throughout costal Croatia.

    About the only thing I would swap out is the white vinegar. PiƱa uses red wine vinegar, while Vesna uses Balsamic, which is what I prefer.
  3. KLF

    KLF Doctorin

    It looks very tasty...I miss polenta, should make some this week.
  4. Monkeylord

    Monkeylord The Lather Lord

    Great dish,and a good recipe. I ate a few versions, more or less basically the same, thought it varies from one area oft he coast to another, some use red wine , some white, some use vinegar, but not one goes without home made extra virgin olive oil. You can use all kinds of fish, the more the better :), and all sorts of shell fish and crabs even squid are good additions. My girlfriends father always says "You can put whatever fish you have in the brodetto but you have to put conger in it"
    The conger itself isn't really the tastiest of fish for me, but it gives the stew a special flavour, it just isn't the same without it :)

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