Saturday, March 23, 2013

K - Kakavia (Aegean Fish Stew)

A photograph of Kakavia (Aegean Fish Stew)
Kakavia (Aegean Fish Stew)

“Greek fishermen make this out at sea, using whatever they’ve hauled into their boat that day, and cooking it in seawater… because their water is ready-salted they don’t need any seasoning at all to achieve a perfectly delicious stew. Genius!”

– Jamie Oliver, ‘Jamie Does’

More Photographs inside.
Things weren’t boding well for ‘K’. We’d had a manic weekd – I didn’t leave the office before midnight the whole week – a hectic weekend with much socialising, and I hadn’t the faintest idea what to make for ‘K’. So the last thing I felt like doing on a Sunday evening after a boozier than usual Saturday was cooking for the project. I really shouldn’t have put it off, because this week has been only marginally better than the last.

A photograph of chopped up ingredients used to make a Kakavia (Aegean Fish Stew)
Chopped up

I managed to get home by 8p.m. on Wednesday and grumblingly set about making this dish from one of my favourite Jamie Oliver recipe books. By the time we prepared the dish, took the photos and settled down to eat, it was 9:30 and I must admit, I was NOT in the best of moods. Cooking is my therapy, it is true, but there are times when chopping vegetables just doesn’t have its usual calming influence. Those times are rare but this was one of them. But this lovely stew changed all of that and made everything right with the world. It was wholesome; it was comforting; it was just what I needed after a spate of frenetic days in the office and a crazy weekend.

A photograph of Rustic Bread
Rustic Bread

Who would have thought that some plain old onion, garlic, celery, tomato, potato simmered with a bit of fish could taste so delicious?? We used three different kinds of fish, per Jamie’s instructions – perch, ling and snapper. The vegetables were simmered gently in stock, the fish was cubed and popped in and the broth was finished off with lashings of lemon juice and generous sprinkles of parsley and dill. There is nothing wow-some about this dish – but the simple, honest flavours of its ingredients meld together to make a simple, honest but wonderful concoction. Served with slices of rustic bread, toasty from the oven, it was simply gorgeous.

I could eat bowls of this quite happily for the whole week and keep to my resolution of eating healthily with no trouble whatsoever.

A photograph of Kakavia (Aegean Fish Stew)
Kakavia (Aegean Fish Stew)

Technical Info
The lighting setup shown below was used for the "Rustic Bread" photograph above.

A photograph of the lighting setup used for the rustic bread shot

This photograph was a straight forward one light setup. I used a Canon 430 EX II fired at 1/4 and zoomed to 24mm as the light source. The strobe was fired through a shoot-through umbrella.

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