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Author Notes: The best thing I ate this year certainly was not prepared by me. And while I had a most memorable lunch The Modern, the stand out dish was a fish soup in Nicaragua. That's all it was called - Sopa de Pescado, no other clues. I cannot speak to the authenticity. I ate it numerous times with the hope of recreating it back home. The original came with a lobster tail in it. That's a little pricey here and seems a touch over the top, so I have left it as optional. The whole fish I was served varied as to what was available. —Summer of Eggplant
- 3 quarts water
- 1.75 pounds Fish trimmings and/or heads (I used Grouper trimmings)
- 1 Onion, quartered
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons sea or kosher salt
- Place all the items in a large pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Use at once or cool down and store in refrigerator or freezer for another use.
- 2 3/4 lb. mild fish, cleaned with head and tail on, I used yellow tailed snapper, but a small grouper or mullet would also work fine
- 8 medium shrimp
- 1 lobster tail - steamed (optional)
- 2 medium tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 small Anaheim pepper, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 cups fish stock (above or store bought)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley, chopped
- salt, to taste
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the butter, when melted add in the onions and red pepper and saute for 4-5 minutes until they just start to become translucent. They do not want to take on color.
- Add fish stock and bring to a simmer, adjust seasoning if needed. Steam the lobster tail separately, if using. Remove from shell and divide in to two.
- Score the fish with a knife two times on each side. Add the fish to simmering stock. The fish takes roughly 5 minutes to cook in broth, add shrimp in 2 minutes later (3 minutes to cook +/-) and the peppers 1 minute after (2 minutes to soften). Just prior to serving add the tomatoes in to the broth.
- In Nicaragua this dish was served with a side of plantains, but bread or rice would be good too.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Best Thing You Ate This Year