Friday, February 18, 2011

The Drunken Mermaid Special: Why You Just Never Know

So here's how it happened: My grandma is catholic and still practices eating fish on Fridays. I am still getting a little used to it, but it's getting better (not because I don't like fish but because I always seem to be frantically making some fish dish at 11:30 hoping it will be done in time for her lunch lol i'm not used to the schedule part.) SO...scrambling to come up with something. We have fish sticks but....meh. I know... I do it to myself :) i know. But this is how wonderful recipes are born!

I want to make a soup, she loves soup. Aunt Linda does Clam Chowder, we id that last week, so i want to do tomato based something or other. I look through about 10-20 recipes and see nothing that i have everything for, so i already know i have to wing it, it's just a matter of getting the ratios right. I open up a few cookbooks, find a Mediterranean style fish soup and LOVE the idea. I can't use any kind of meat broth though and we don't seem to have vegetable (note to self...) but that's ok because you can use wine to sub and Grandma likes it. Usually, with fish you use white. I have red. While I know it will be ok, i see that I am making a lot of changes and i am not sure at all how it's going to taste at this point.

So I am going along, throwing things in, very much in a hurry because it needs to boil for 45 min, it's 11:45 and my cousin is taking me to coffee at 12:30. I grab the first measuring cup in the drawer, a small one because they're stacked. A quick glance tells me it's a 1/8 c. I want to put in a cup of wine so I pour in 8 of those, all the while thinking it looked awfully large for a 1/8 c. container.

I use the cup again to measure in some lemon juice a little later... this time I see it. It's not an 8, it's a 3.

Which means I used 2 2/3 c. of Pinot in this soup.

Did you know soup gets foamy when you do that? I do now. It also turns the white fish an interesting maroon color...

Well...waste not want not! I plow ahead. As I was posting about this on FB, I got the idea for the recipe, should it succeed. I love mermaids. It smells amazing and you know what, Grandma LOVED it. She laughed at my story but she said it was in improvement on the soup :) So here it is (mainly for my mom,  who taught me how to cook like this, hehe!)

The Drunken Mermaid Special

2 celery stalks, chopped
1 dice tomato
3 large potatoes, or 9 small, chopped
1/2  large onion or 1 smaller
1  8 oz. can pitted black olives
1 4 oz can of mushrooms
1/3 c. green olives
2 TB capers
1 TB Sea Salt (I have this fish specific one from Hawaii, oh and i wouldn't use this much if using broth since broth tends to be salty but i wasn't)
4 c. water
3 bay leaves
2 2/3 c. red wine
2/3 c. lemon juice
1 TB whole pepper corns
1 tsp basil
1 tsp fennel seeds
3/4 stick butter
3 fillets white fish
1 c. shrimp

Place everything but the seafood in the big ol' pot and get it boiling. Boil for about 25 min and then add the seafood for another 20 min or so, until it is fully cooked, stirring occasionally. Consume the awesomeness.

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