Fisherman’s Stew by Brooklyn Allergy Mom
photo by Heidi Bayer ©2014 All Rights Reserved

I made this fantastic gluten-free, food allergy friendly Fisherman’s Stew the other evening. The Fisherman’s Stew recipe below was inspired by the one found in Mark Bittman’s book Vegan Before 6 (or VB6).

We recently added squid to our diet. So when I found some at the Park Slope Food Coop in the frozen fish section packaged by Gabe the Fish Babe, I quickly placed it in my cart. While in the normal food allergy population, squid is generally fairly non-allergenic, in our case, it has always come up on blood tests as an allergen. Given our food allergy propensity and history of anaphylaxis, our board certified Allergist recommended we stay away until we tested negative. But now – the squid’s back! I enjoy squid, or ‘calamari’ in all of its iterations, but it is absolutely fantastic in this gluten-free, food allergy friendly stew below. You can add any fish that is safe for you (except I don’t recommend tuna or any dark fish). This recipe works well with white fleshy fish. If you’re concerned about the origin of your fish, consider buying your fish from a food coop, greenmarket or a CSF (Community Supported Fishery). In Brooklyn and Manhattan, you may want to belong to the “Village Fishmonger” CSF.

If you or a loved one have an allergy to any other fish, ask your fishmonger about cross contamination, or make sure that you are purchasing fish that has been pre-packaged and frozen separately. Purchasing fish that is in a display case on ice next to other fish that may be or are allergens is not recommended. I usually kindly ask if there is any safe fish in the freezer that has not been put out yet, even if it means I need to purchase more than I had planned.

The great thing about this stew is that if you have someone who is allergic to squid, vegan (remember to use vegan broth!) or someone who doesn’t like squid, you can serve it before the squid is added and it’s excellent.

A word about cross contamination in the kitchen: always use a different cutting board to cut vegetables and fish and make sure your knife is super clean! I usually cut my veggies first, then my fish, wipe down all surfaces and store the fish in the fridge until it’s needed in the stew.

FISHERMAN’S STEW (based on a recipe by MARK BITTMAN) – about 8 servings, gluten-free, free of the top 7 allergens – contains fish

1 small yellow onion, sliced thinly

1 large shallot, sliced thinly

4 stalks of celery, sliced thinly

Olive Oil


pinch saffron (optional, but don’t leave it out!)

3 cups Chicken broth or more

4 sprigs fresh tarragon (or 1 tsp dry)

1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

1 Large Sweet potato, diced into 1/2″ squares (3 – 4 cups)

3 small organic carrots, sliced thinly

1 pound squid washed and cut into rounds

Place olive oil in pan and let it warm. Sauté onions, shallots, celery, a pinch of salt and saffron until soft, about five minutes. Add the sweet potato, tarragon, broth, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Place lid on soup pan, and allow the sweet potatoes to cook. Check that the sweet potatoes are cooked through after about 15 minutes. Place carrots into the stew and cook for about 5 minutes more. At this point, take a bit out for your friend who is vegan, they’ll love it! Then, add the squid and cook for about 3 minutes.

Serve with gluten-free bread – we’re huge fans of Luce’s Gluten Free flatbread.


Do you have a favorite dish that you’ve just discovered? What is it?

Shopping info:

WHOLE FOODS BROOKLYN (3rd and 3rd) – put your best smile on and ask the nice people behind the fish case for their 2.5 pound frozen in the freezer. the 2.5 pounds will cost around $21.00.

PARK SLOPE FOOD COOPGabe the Fish Babe, check the freezer section where the frozen fish is kept. 1 pound will cost around $9.50.

GABE THE FISH BABE – you can purchase food directly from Gabe and have it delivered to your door in frozen packeges. $120.00 for 6 lbs. $240 for 12 lbs.

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