Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mexican Gulf Fish Soup

The lovely golden corvina are plentiful, but scanty in flesh. I find that it takes one per person. I usually make about six at a time. Up north they could be replaced by trout. While they grill nicely after marination in some olive oil and lime juice, I prefer them simply simmered.
After serving, I rescue any little bits of fish left clinging to the bones and reserve them. I take all the bones and heads and cook them at a low boil covered with water for about four hours. If I have a little white wine or Champagne left, I throw in about a half of a cup. I strain the broth which usually gives me about three quarts. All that is left to do is to add two to two and a half cups of cooked rice and a quarter cup of lime juice as well as any reserved fish. I put 2 sprigs of cilantro into each plate and serve as a lovely light first course for about six people.
Those who like spicy can add three jalapenos cut across into thin slices and about four chopped cloves of garlic.
If the soup is left in the fridge overnight it will jell. This is a good indication that it is a warm weather soup although I prefer it liquid.
A more substantial soup--almost a meal--is made by ordering six pieces of cod four inches by four inches square and a good inch thick. I add the pieces of fish to the original boiled liquid and cook for ten minutes before seasoning.
Incidentally, I was surprised by the amount of rice eaten and served as well as corn tortillas. I follow the lead of Claudia and cook the rice with some oil and an onion cut into slivers--about three quarters of an onion to a cup of raw rice.If you make more than you need it can always be used another day.

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