Sunday, July 1, 2012

Seafood Stew

Seafood Stew is within your grasp this summer even if you are far from the shore.  This recipe has easy to put together, flavorful ingredients, hardly any “stewing” time and uses either freshly caught or frozen seafood.  Don't wait for vacation to enjoy. 

My recipe combines something from all the coasts I love—a little fennel and tarragon from the south of France, some saffron notes from Spain’s peninsula and our Atlantic coast's bounty of cod, clams and scallops.  Seafood Stew is a world wide thing so once you know the basics of this tomato-based soup you can swap in your local fish, garden favorites and the herbs that make you happiest.  

Seafood Stew
Serves 3, doubles well

1/4 sweet onion
1/2 fennel bulb
1/4 cup celery leaves
2-3 garlic cloves (plus extra for garlic bread to dunk)
Olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup tomato based vegetable juice
1 cup clam broth
1/2 cup water
6-8 threads saffron
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 6-oz fillet of cod, haddock or other firm white fish
1 cup bay scallops
1 cup fresh clams or shrimp (out of shell)
Salt and pepper
Fresh herb garnish: dill, tarragon, parsley

  1. In a large wide heavy-bottomed pot, saut√© vegetables in olive oil over medium heat.   
  2. When vegetables have softened, add garlic and cook stirring another minute. 
  3. Add wine and stir to scrape up any caramelized pieces sticking to the bottom of the pot.  
  4. Lower heat to medium-low and add tomato juice, clam broth and water.  Sprinkle in saffron and red pepper flakes. Simmer 5 minutes.  
  5. Add fish and simmer 5 minutes more.  Add remaining seafood and simmer until cooked through, 2-3 minutes.  
  6. Serve immediately garnished with chopped fresh herbs.  
Pass around toasts rubbed with olive oil, garlic and a smear of anchovy paste.