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Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 6-8 Servings

The tribal symbol of the Coushatta Indians is the garfish. This fish not only symbolizes sustenance and nourishment, but it also plays an important part in tribal customs. The bones are used for jewelry and costuming, while the hide is used for shoes and clothing. This prehistoric fish also symbolizes strength and survival.

Ingredients for Garfish Patties:
4 cups poached garfish meat
½ cup diced onions
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced red bell peppers
¼ cup diced yellow bell peppers
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 eggs
¼ cup sliced green onions
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
½ cup melted butter

Method for Garfish Patties:
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except bread crumbs and butter. Using your hands, mix until well blended. Remove ½ cup mixture for use in stew. Slowly add bread crumbs. Form mixture into 12 (2½-inch) patties. Place on a cookie sheet, drizzle with butter and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Ingredients for Stew:
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
¼ cup diced red bell peppers
¼ cup diced yellow bell peppers
¼ cup minced garlic
½ cup reserved fish mixture
½ cup tomato sauce
2 quarts shellfish stock (see recipe)
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped parsley
pinch of thyme
pinch of basil
2 bay leaves
Worcestershire sauce to taste
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste

Method for Stew:
In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until golden brown roux is achieved. (See roux recipes.) Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Blend in reserved fish and tomato sauce. Slowly add stock until a heavy cream-like consistency is achieved. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and allow to cook 30 minutes. Stir in green onions, parsley, thyme, basil and bay leaves. Add garfish patties and stir gently, being careful not to break. After a few minutes of cooking, patties will become firm. Season with Worcestershire, salt, pepper and hot sauce. If mixture becomes too thick, add more stock. Serve over steamed white rice or pasta.























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