West Indian Lionfish Chowder

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups pumpkin, diced
  • 10 seasoning peppers, diced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet, diced with seeds
  • 1 bunch of callaloo, chopped (if not available locally, substitute spinach or kale)
  • Zest and juice from 1 lime
  • 2 quarts coconut milk
  • 1 quart fish stock
  • 2 tablespoons canola/olive oil blend
  • 10 3-ounce fried lionfish fillets (or any white fish will do)
  • Flour for dredging

In a large pot over medium heat melt the butter and coconut oil. Once melted, add the onions and sweat about 8-10 minutes until clear. Season with salt and pepper, then add the thyme, bell pepper, carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, seasoning peppers, and Scotch bonnet. Cook for about 8 minutes. Finally, add the callaloo, lime zest and juice, cook for about 30 seconds, then add coconut milk and fish stock. Raise the heat to high, and bring the pot to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are just cooked. While the chowder is simmering, coat a large sauté pan with canola/olive oil mix and place over medium heat. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.

Sear the fish skin-side down for 3-4 minutes or until skin becomes crispy, then flip to the other side and cook for an additional couple minutes, being careful not to overcook.

Pour the chowder into a hot bowl and place the fish fillets on top.