summer seafood stew

Shrimp + Fennel + Tomatoes. Add a light flavorful broth with some diced potatoes and mild fish chunks for good measure. You now have the perfect summer supper.  If you are limiting the number of carbs in your diet, you can simply eliminate the potatoes.  Or you could try replacing the potatoes with turnips.  The carb count would drop significantly.

I was inspired to make this dish while looking through one of my Williams-Sonoma catalogs. They are, by the way, what I often refer to as my favorite magazines. It’s fun to be tempted by all of the amazing offerings and enjoy their artful presentations. This recipe was featured as an incentive to use (or purchase) the Cuisinart multicooker. Since I don’t have one of those, I tweaked and adjusted so that this could be prepared on the stovetop.

You begin by sautéing the fennel and onion …from that point on, the process moves along quickly. So, as always, it’s a good plan to have all of the ingredients prepped and ready. I’m using my Le Creuset deep sauté pan for this since it holds over four quarts …and because it’s amazing. You can use any deep pan or a dutch oven, as long as it has a capacity of at least four quarts.

The fish and shrimp are briefly cooked in a separate pan, then added at the last minute to the final dish. That way you avoid overcooking them. I used a grill pan on the stove for that process.

Have some extra seafood stock handy so that if the stew is a bit thick, you can add some additional stock before removing the pan from the heat. Serve immediately, garnished with a lemon wedge and fennel fronds. Offer bread for dipping, if desired.

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summer seafood stew

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, cored & thinly sliced, fronds reserved (about 20 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod (optional)
  • 6 cups seafood stock, plus extra to finish (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 1/2 pound red-skinned potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch cubes (or turnips for low-carb option)
  • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound cod or haddock, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges (for serving)

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan or stock pot (of at least 4 1/2 quart capacity) over medium heat.

  2. Add onion and fennel.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes until tender and translucent.  Add tomato paste and garlic; cook while stirring for 1 minute.  Add wine and Pernod (if using), cook while stirring for 2 minutes.  

  3. Add the stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and potatoes(or turnips).  Increase the heat to medium-high.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

  4. Meanwhile, in separate bowls, toss the fish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the shrimp with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Season both lightly with salt and pepper.

  5. Just before broth mixture is done, preheat a large saute or grill pan to medium.  Add the fish to the pan and cook, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes until opaque.  Gently push the cooked fish to the side and add the shrimp to the pan.  Cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes until opaque.

  6. Just before serving, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprig from the broth and add the cooked fish and shrimp.  Gently fold them in with the fresh parsley.  Serve immediately, with lemon wedges and fennel fronds as garnish.

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