INGREDIENTS here depend on what you've got on hand. Absolutely basic: two or three cans of white tuna in water, and gobs of frozen shrimp. Then -- sorry, food snobs -- you need a compatible soup. I like dried leek soup -- makes a yummy base when sherried -- or a can of mushroom, celery, cheese or shrimp soup. (It should be thick. The canned soups must be reconstituted with milk.) Then, fresh veggies: Tomatoes are essential. So are scallions. Zucchini's best of all, and you don't have to peel it. Ditto squash. Celery and/or onion are nice. You may use fresh bean sprouts or a carrot grated in. I have even added lettuce, shredded and stirred in at the last minute. A can of water chestnuts goes fine, too. (You want lots of textures. No shocks, like squid.) You give this a different taste each go-round by adding, for example, fresh dill, or sherry, or a splash of brandy, or even grated cheese. (Do not add all of these, or your Tasty-Hasty exudes a sort of low-tide miasma.) This takes 10 inspired minutes to fix. Ready, go!:
THE EAR'S TASTY-HASTY FISH STEW SUGGESTED INGREDIENTS Package dried soup (or can cream of mushroom, celery, cheese or shrimp soup) 2 or 3 cans chunk light tuna, packed in water An onion, sliced in rings 1 or 2 scallions Water chestnuts Tomatoes Fresh zucchini Stick (or so) celery, cut into little snippets Frozen shrimp A grated carrot Canned clams or oysters Sherry Fresh dill or parsley (or other herb that goes well with fish)
Fix your soup. If it's the powdered sort, wait five minutes to do the following. If canned, you can pitch right in: Tip in your tuna.
Start adding your choice of veggies, in the following order:
An onion, sliced in thin rings; for color, a scallion or two; water chestnuts, excluding juice; tomatoes, cut in thick wedges. Now, slice in your fresh zucchini. Cut a stick or so of celery into little snippets, if you're up for haute crunch, and stick that in. If your frozen shrimp are raw, pop them in now; if they're cooked frozen shrimp, a minute before Stew Time. (Just about the time you grate in your carrot.) You can tip in a can of clams or oysters. Taste. Add a splash of sherry, if you like. (Here's where you add fresh dill or parsley, or other herb that goes well with fish. Among Flops I Have Tried: fresh basil.) Stir in a dab of butter before serving, and scatter with fresh parsley or dill. Or caviar left over from a party. If there's nothing to scatter, so what? Serve by candlelight with French bread rolls -- you cleverly whisked these from the freezer and stuck them in the oven just as you started up -- and a bottle of light German wine. (If you have lots of leftovers, which you won't, you add curry the next night and ladle the mix into little pots and bake it. You serve as a first course, with steak tartare for seconds. But that's another recipe.)