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Cooking with Katherine: Fish Couvillion


Last updated 2/15/2012 at Noon

This is a classic Louisiana recipe. I grew up eating this dish quite a bit. Now days I rarely, ever see anyone making this dish. It consists of divine Red Snapper cooked in a rich, tomato gravy. You can also substitute shrimp for this dish. Perhaps you have heard of Shrimp Couvillion (pronounced Coo-ve-on). Hope you enjoy and Happy Eating!

Make fish stock with parts of fish with bone, etc. Season well.

With approx. ½ cup of oil and 3 or 4 tablespoons of flour, make dark roux. Add and cook until soft the following: 2 med. onions,

3-4 green onions, 1 or 2 bell peppers, 4 stalks of celery chopped fine, and 3 cloves of garlic.


Instead of water use fish stock until a rich gravy is made

1 can of Rotel Tomatoes

1 can of tomato paste

1 can of tomato sauce

1 can of chopped mushrooms

2 pods of crushed garlic

Pinch of basil

3 Bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste, along with red pepper OR Tony’s Creole Seasoning to your taste. You can add 1 teaspoon sugar and add 1 cup of dry white wine.

Cook ingredients for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Then add deboned fish and cook about 20 minutes. (Preferably Red Snapper)

Instructions (fish Stock)

1 lb. fish heads and bones, rinsed

1/2 cup dry white wine

8 cups water

3 celery stalks , roughly chopped

1 carrot

1 onion

2 bay leaves

6 parsley stems

1 bulb garlic

Salt and pepper

Stock pot




Storage container

1. Purchase 1 lb. of fish heads and bones at your local fish market or grocery store. Let the grocer know that you will be using the fish parts for stock and that you would like the fish gutted and the gills removed. For a mild-tasting stock, use the heads and bones of a whitefish.

Peel 1 medium-sized carrot and 1 small onion. Chop them, along with 3 stalks of celery, into fine pieces.

Cut a bulb of garlic in half, remembering to remove the papery husk.

Rinse the fish head and bones thoroughly.

2. Boil Ingredients for Fish Stock

Place the fish parts, 1/2 cup white wine and the vegetables in large stock pot or saucepan.

Add 8 cups of water, cover the pot and slowly bring the water to a boil. Slowly simmering the mixture is the best way to extract the nutrients from the fish and vegetables, while bringing it to a boil lets the vegetables get mushy.

Reduce the temperature to medium heat and uncover the pot once the stock has begun to boil.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a spoon to continuously skim off the foam (or “scum”) that will rise to the top.

Add six parsley stems and two bay leaves to the stock pot when there is no more scum rising to the top. At this time, you may also add salt and pepper to your preferred taste.

Continue to simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the burner and allow it to cool just enough that you can use oven mitts to pick up the stock pot.

Place a strainer or colander over the mouth of a large bowl.

Pour the fish stock through the strainer, using a spoon to press on the solid pieces at the bottom of the strainer. This will make sure that the stock will gain nutritive substance from the fish and vegetable solids. It will also create a thicker stock.

Let the mixture sit in the bowl for 10 minutes so that any impurities can settle to the bottom. Then transfer the stock to a jar for storage.

Tips & Warnings

Types of fish that make good stock include cod, haddock, hake, sole, pollock, striped bass, halibut, grouper or flounder.

Stock can be frozen for up to 4 months. If you plan to put it in the freezer, use freezer bags or freezable containers instead of glass jars.

Katherine Aras

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