Toothsome Images / Summer Seafood Special

06.17.2012

It’s National Seafood Month and we’ve got a mouthwatering dinner in store for you! These recipes are packed with all your favorite seafood staples and would make a great meal for a group of 4 or more. The first is a saffron-scented fish stew  from renowned chef Domenica Marchetti, the master of Italian soup.  To balance this meal add a simply gorgeous shrimp salad with citrus notes.

What you are cooking up for National Seafood Month?

Saffron-Scented Fish Stew

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves garlic, lightly crushed with the flat side of a knife

1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 rib celery, trimmed and coarsely chopped

1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, including stems, plus 2 tablespoons finely minced, leaves only

2 small lobster tails, removed from their shells, cut into 2-inch chunks, and shells washed and reserved

16 large (21/30 count) uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells washed and reserved

1 3/4 cups dry white wine

4 cups water

Kosher or sea salt

Generous pinch of saffron threads (about 1/2 teaspoon)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cups canned whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped or coarsely crushed

2 pounds firm, meaty white fish fillets or steaks such as cod, hake, grouper, monkfish, or red snapper, cut into 2-inch chunks

18 Littleneck or other small clams, thoroughly cleaned

18 mussels, thoroughly cleaned

6 or 12 slices brushetta

To make the shellfish broth, in a saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in 2 cloves of garlic, the carrot, the celery, and the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.  Add the coarsely chopped parsley and the lobster and shrimp shells and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shells start to change color, about 2 minutes.  Increase the heat to medium-high and pour in 1 cup of wine.  Boil until some of the wine evaporates, about 2 minutes.  Pour in the water, add about 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and let the stock simmer for 30 to 40 minutes to develop the flavor.  Taste for salt and adjust the seasonings.

Drain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve lined with damp cheesecloth placed over the bowl.  Discard the solids and return the broth to the saucepan.  You should have 2 to 2 1/2 cups.  Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and reduce the broth further, to about 1 1/2 cups.  Cover the broth to keep it hot while you prepare the stew (reheat at low if necessary).

To make the stew, put the saffron threads in a small bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons of the hot broth.  Let the mixture sit, stirring once or twice until the saffron threads have dissolved, 10-15 minutes.

In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot with lid, heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat.  Add the remaining three garlic cloves and the red pepper flakes and saute for a minute or two, or until the garlic releases its fragrance.  Pour in the tomatoes, the remaining 3/4 cups wine, the remaining reduced shellfish broth, and the diluted saffron.  Bring to a boil, adjust the heat so the mixtures simmers, and simmer for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.

Add all the seafood to the pot except the mussels and shrimp.  Cover and simmer until at least half of the clams have opened and the fish is opaque at the center when tested with a knife tip, 8 to 10 minutes.  As the mixture cooks, carefully stir once or twice to reduce the heat to medium-low if it is simmering too hard.  Add the mussels and shrimp to the pot, re-cover, and cook until all the clams have opened, the mussels have opened, and the shrimp are pink and opaque throughout, about 5 minutes longer.  Sprinkle on the minced parsley and stir to incorporate.  The more tender fin fish, such as hake, will have flaked apart, thickening the broth.  Discard any clams or mussels that failed to open.

Place 1 or 2 slices of bruschetta in the bottom of each shallow bowl.  Ladle the stew over the bread, making sure that each bowl contains a good mix of fish and shellfish.


To balance this flavorful seafood stew, add a little color and freshness with this simple side salad.  Place orange, grapefruit, and avocado slices on plate. Add a large piece of butter lettuce and set your extra shrimp on top of the juicy pieces of fruit. Garnish with chives and tortilla strips for some crunch.

About the author: Darcie expresses her grand appreciation for gorgeous food, curating the stock website Toothsome Images. Her eye for detail makes her a powerhouse in the production of special projects. Outside of work you can find her playing in her garden or riding her bike while posting awesome bike photos to Instagram @idarcie


Posted By: AP Studios
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