Calliope's Real Greek Food

cooking & stories in my Brooklyn kitchen

Monkfish stew with baby shallots from Skiathos
{peskandritsa stifado}


The origin of the ‘stifado’ dish is unknown; we only know that the etymology of the word is related to the ancient word ‘tyfos’ that means ‘steam’. It is a kind of stew that is cooked using rabbit or snails in Crete, but also beef and veal in other parts of the country. The basic ingredients of ‘stifado’ are baby shallots, spices and tomatoes and the technique allows slow cooking until the meat is tender. In Skiathos island, ‘stifado’ is cooked with fish, which sounds awkward to most Greeks who prefer this dish with rabbit! It is ideal with orzo pasta, rice or Greek fries.


-       2 pounds monkfish, filleted
-       2 pounds, baby shallots, peeled
-       2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled & diced
-       5 cloves garlic
-       1 cup dry white wine
-       ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
-       4 tbsp. vinegar
-       1 tsp. rosemary
-       4 bay leaves
-       1 tbsp. oregano
-       whole spice
-       salt & pepper
-       1 cup raisins & pine nuts (optional) 

Preparation Method

1.     Rinse the fish and place it in a bowl with some lemon juice to firm its flesh
2.     In a large pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes; add the garlic
3.     As soon as they take a golden brown color, add the tomatoes and let them simmer for 5 minutes
4.     Season and add the spices; add the vinegar and allow everything to simmer for 3 minutes
5.     Turn off the heat and let the stew rest for 5 minutes
6.     In the meantime, place the fish in a baking pan (without the water)
7.     Cover it with the stew, add the wine and bake for 1hour and 15 minutes at 360F- 400F  

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1hour and 15 minutes
Serves: 4-5

(Illustration by minifrenchie)