This recipe puts a Louisiana twist on tomato-based Manhattan-style chowder (in contrast with creamy "New England" style) with the trinity, cayenne, and your favorite kind of firm white fleshed Louisiana fish, like trout, red snapper, red fish, even tilapia in a pinch. Add some nice crusty bread on the side and it's dinner time.
You can gild the lily with fish stock if you want, but there's plenty of flavor with water.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes with liquid
1 pound potatoes, sliced thin
salt to taste
1 quart water or fish stock
1.25-1.5 pounds fish fillets
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add celery, bell pepper, and green onions and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, thyme, and cayenne. Cook for another minute or so, until you smell the garlic. Mix in the tomato paste and cook for several minutes, until the paste darkens.
Add the canned tomatoes and their liquid. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
Add water or fish stock and the sliced potatoes. Taste and add salt to taste. Simmer for at least a half hour, tasting and adjusting seasoning as necessary.
Cut fish into large pieces and add to simmering liquid. Cook gently until the fish is just flaky and cooked through.