New England Baked Layered Fish Stew

I have been keeping up with a recipe a week, but have been really miserable posting here about it. We just finished a great dinner, and I decided I had to post the recipe here, so I don’t lose it. It’s my second time making it, and It’s sooo good. The original recipe was on printed in the Boston Globe Magazine.

I make it in my cast iron dutch oven, and leave out the celery because Cathy’s allergic. Enjoy!


Serves 6

Adapted from Jasper White’s 50 Chowders.

8 ounces bacon

3 large onions, halved and sliced

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

Salt and black pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper

2/3 cup dry white wine

1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced 3/8 inch thick

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 pounds thick white fish fillets (such as hake, haddock, bass, or halibut), skinned

1½ cups fish stock

2/3 cup heavy cream

4 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced  

With the oven rack in the lower-middle position, heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 4 to 7 minutes. Drain the bacon, then crumble it and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat, adjust to medium-high heat, add the onions, celery, bay leaves, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt, and saute until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cayenne pepper and wine, bring to a simmer, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to dissolve the fond and cook off the alcohol, about 2½ minutes. Set the pot aside off heat; remove half the onion mixture to a bowl and reserve.

Uncover, sprinkle with reserved bacon, and pour cream over the top. Adjust heat to 425 and bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are very tender and the stew is beginning to brown around the edges, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven, partially cover, and rest for 10 minutes. Stir just to mix, taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, sprinkle with the scallions, and serve. 


Recipe a Week: Lemon-Basil Pork Chops

I made these with the potatoes. And they were good and well worth the effort. I should make a point of returning to this simple but flavorful recipe. It was basically pork dipped in eggs and lemon juice and then dipped into bread crumbs containing grated lemon peel. Then bake. I was worried the lemon would not be noticeable, because the amount of lemon juice was quite small. But it hit just the right amount of lemon to be tasty, but not overpowering.

Recipe a Week: Baby Backed Potato Fans

These were tasty, and it was fun fanning out the potatoes. But it was also more work to do the fanning. It might have been just as good and easier to chop these and spread them flat on a baking pan.

Pictures from the start of 2014

Snow StormJanuary 1: All this Christmas clean-up makes you thirstyCrunchesSun seekerSnow StormJanuary 2: Firewood
MageAfter the Snow StormAfter the Snow StormFinally using their Xmas PresentFinally using their Xmas PresentFinally using their Xmas Present
Shoveling OutShoveling OutCoveredCoveredShoveling OutJanuary 3: Afternoon Fish Bowl
Fish Bowl PrismJanuary 4: Wine and Cheese NightJanuary 5: Klondike PrepRecipe a Week: Baby Backed Potato FansRecipe a Week: Lemon-Basil Pork ChopsWhack a Mouse

2014, a set on Flickr.

It’s picture night, so I’m sharing some pictures from the beginning of 2014: snow storm pics and cats figure prominently. I’ve also started my picture a day project again. We’ll see if I can keep it up this year. I’ve also started trying to make a new recipe each week.

January 1: All this Christmas clean-up makes you thirsty

Maybe I’m doing picture a day again… Here’s one for January 1 anyway!

Via Flickr:
Mage decided to have a little drink from Cathy’s glass while she was cleaning up ornaments. My instinct, of course, was to take her picture and then say "No, bad kitty."

End of 2013

New Years Eve Meal: Layered Fish StewTree DecoratingTree DecoratingTree DecoratingTree DecoratingTree Decorating
Tree DecoratingTree DecoratingTree DecoratingOpening Gifts on 12/22/13Opening Gifts on 12/22/13Opening Gifts on 12/22/13
Opening Gifts on 12/22/13Opening Gifts on 12/22/13CathyAftermath of the mysterious tree collapseOrnament ExchangeOrnament Exchange
OrnamentsDecorating the Gingerbread HouseDecorating the Gingerbread HouseDecorating the Gingerbread HouseDecorating the Gingerbread HouseDecorating the Gingerbread House

End of 2013, a set on Flickr.

I just posted a few photos from the end of 2013 of Flickr. Happy New Year!

December 11 – 17, 2013

An orchid is blooming again in my office!SnowDigital Scholarship LabBoy Scout December Trip to Camp SquantoBoy Scout December Trip to Camp SquantoBoy Scout December Trip to Camp Squanto
Boy Scout December Trip to Camp SquantoBoy Scout December Trip to Camp SquantoBoy Scout December Trip to Camp SquantoBoy Scout December Trip to Camp SquantoBoy Scout December Trip to Camp Squanto

December 11 – 17, 2013, a set on Flickr.

Picture night! Just posted this to Facebook as well.

In this set, I have a few snowy photos, most of them at a weekend boy scout trip down to Camp Squanto (in Myles Standish State Park). Also, one of my orchids in my office is blooming again!

Many of the boy scout pictures are password protected, so let me know if you’d like a guest pass link to see those.

November 21 – December 8 2013

Evan and his friends after the paradeCleaning up our leavesCleaning up our leavesCleaning up our leavesCleaning up our leavesMy Angelwing in my office bloomed
The rest of the angelwingThe 2013 Personal Best Karate Turkey BrigadeThe 2013 Personal Best Karate Turkey BrigadeThe 2013 Personal Best Karate Turkey BrigadeThe 2013 Personal Best Karate Turkey BrigadeThe 2013 Personal Best Karate Turkey Brigade
The 2013 Personal Best Karate Turkey BrigadeOur first fire of the seasonOur first fire of the seasonBird WatcherBird Watcher
Bird WatcherThanksgiving 2013Thanksgiving 2013Thanksgiving 2013Thanksgiving 2013Thanksgiving 2013

Picture night! I have been posting these on Facebook. I might try posting them to this old “family newsletter” blog too, just as a record I have a bit more control over.

Anyway, I missed the past couple weeks of doing this and tonight I caught up. In this batch I’ve got (among other things) photos of leaf clean-up, a “turkey brigade,” Thanksgiving, and our town’s holiday parade.

A few are password protected, so shoot me an email if you would like a guest pass link to this set.


Just a quick test to see where posts from my family newsletter blog go (besides to this blog page).

Recipe a Week, Week 4

I’m still behind in reporting the recipes I’ve been making, but so far, I have been able to make one at least new recipe every week. I made my week 4 recipes during the Ravens/Patriot play off game on January 22. The hummus was an appetizer meant to be eaten during the game with veggies. The soup was a light meal after the game was over.

The two recipes came out fine, but the soup in particular took far too long to make. I spent most of my time in the kitchen while the game was on. I still had a small TV on, so I could pay it some attention, but in retrospect it would have been better to choose a dish that didn’t require quite some much attention.

Here are the recipes:

Herbed Meatball Soup


1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons instant tapioca
1 lemon zest
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
Making Meatballs


Mix the meats, 1/4 cup onion, half of the garlic, tapioca, zest, sugar, salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 1 tablespoon water together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small stockpot over low heat. Add the remaining 3/4 cup onion and 2 garlic cloves and cook until softened, stirring occasionally — 5 to 7 minutes. Add the broth, 3 cups water, remaining 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and the oregano sprigs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and keep warm. Transfer the meat mixture and the herbs to a food processor and blend just until smooth — about 20 seconds. Shape into 1 inch meatballs and set aside. Heat the remaining two tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Cook the meatballs — 12 at a time — until browned. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the meatballs and continue to simmer until meatballs are cooked through — about three minutes. Serve hot,
MeatballsMeatball Soup, Salad, Bread


This dish was tasty, but very time consuming. I’m not sure that the amount of work involved gave enough of a payoff in taste to make this dish worth making again.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


2 medium garlic cloves
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, purchased
1/3 cup tahini paste
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 12 oz pkg pita bread
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
January 22 - GarlicMaking Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


1. Heat oven to 350°F. With food processor running, add garlic; process until finely chopped. Add garbanzo beans, roasted peppers, tahini paste, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper, process until smooth. (Hummus can be made two days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Veggies and Hummus
2. Cut pita bread into triangles; brush one side lightly with oil. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet; sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly toasted. (Pita crisps can be made one day ahead.)
Toasted Pita BreadHummus with Veggies and Pita


This was a good alternative to the normal hummus we usually make. It was too liquid-y when I made it this time, because I only drained 1/2 the liquid from the chick peas. (This is the way I usually make the hummus, because otherwise it comes out too dry.) The juice from the roasted red peppers seems to keep it moist enough, so I will know to follow this recipe more closely next time.

One should note that this recipe makes more than enough on it’s own. I doubled it, and had far too much hummus for our family of three as a result.

Finally, be careful not to overdo the garlic. I put too much in and could not be around people afterwards. 🙂

Servings: 16