Fish Stew with Polenta

Devin stayed over with a friend after school yesterday so Travis and I got to enjoy an evening with no company or teenagers around. We went to Lowe’s in the afternoon and got an automatic watering system for my roof garden. I’m excited to get it set up and going! It will certainly be nice to have a watered garden that I don’t have to worry about when we want to go out of town for a couple days. We also bought a couple of misting fans; one for the roof and one for the front porch. Tell me that won’t be awesome when it’s 90-something degrees outside! It also reminds me of sitting at a bar in Key West…my favorite place besides home 🙂

One of the reasons I didn’t get the new watering system in today is because it was rainy in the morning and then overcast this afternoon. Since I couldn’t play in the garden I decided to take advantage of the slightly cooler weather and make a warm dish for dinner. I was inspired to make this stew after finding a beautiful bulb of fennel at the grocery store this afternoon…

Some of my ingredients…all gathered and ready to become yummy stew.

Chopped fennel, pepper, garlic and shallot.

After I sauteed the veggies, cooked the wine down and added the tomatoes I placed the fish fillets over the stew to cook for about 20 minutes.

Don’t you want to try it???

Fish Stew with Polenta


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bulb fennel, diced (this recipe is also good with 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seed in place of the fresh fennel, add the fennel seed while sauteing the vegetables)
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 2-3 shallots, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package button mushrooms, chopped (I have made this before using shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Savignon Blanc)
  • 1- 28 ounce can San Marzano diced tomatoes
  • 4 catfish fillets (this is also good with cod or grouper)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the next four ingredients and cook for about 8 minutes. Add butter and chopped mushrooms and cook for another 6 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add wine and cook until almost all the liquid is gone. Add tomatoes, red pepper and capers, then stir. Add fish fillets. Put a top on the skillet and simmer for 20 minutes. (Season as you go along with salt and pepper)
  • While stew is simmering make instant polenta according to package directions. I used vegetable stock instead of water.
  • To serve, place polenta on the bottom of the plate and top with stew. Serve immediately.

7 thoughts on “Fish Stew with Polenta

  1. You and I are definitely on the same wavelength…it’s kind of scary! I was going to email you yesterday and ask why you hadn’t posted your recipe for Fish & Polenta yet (because I know you sent the details to me a month or two back). And ALSO, yesterday I jotted down the ingredients I don’t have so I can make it next week! (I guess maybe you were waiting to post it until you had some good accompanying photos.) 🙂

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