Seafood Stew

30 Oct

It snowed here yesterday!  It didn’t really stick, but it was cold and pretty miserable.  I made a seafood stew for dinner.  It was warm and comforting and had that slow cooked feel, but it only took about 30 minutes. Best of all it left my oven open for a bunch of baking!

This is one of those core techniques, if you figure it out and are comfortable, you can substitute any main ingredient and adjust the complimenting flavors.  I used andouille, white wine and tomatoes as my main flavors. You could use bacon, beer and onions.  Or fish stock, lemongrass and ginger.  I used clams, calamari, shrimp and scallops.  You could do it completely with mussels or add a lobster tail or a filet of fish.

A final note.  It is always easier to cook if you have prepared all of your ingredients before you start.  In this case it is a necessity.  Seafood cooks quickly!

Seafood Stew

1 andouille sausage, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

2 garlic gloves, minced

2 tomatoes, cores removed, diced

6 clams

1/2 lb of squid, heads and bodies.  Slice bodies in to rings

8 medium shrimp

2 large diver scallops

2 cups white wine, approx

1/4 cup each parsley and tarragon, chopped

1 lemon, zest and juice

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

I like to use a 12 inch stainless skillet with a lid, it has enough surface area that ingredients cook quickly and evenly, but is deep enough to hold everything comfortably.  If you were going to make this for a large group, a big, deep pot would be best.

Brown the andouille in some oil until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the pan and put aside.  Add the onions to the pan and sauté until translucent.  Add more oil if necessary.  Deglaze the pan with a little wine and scrape up all the golden brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add tomatoes and garlic and cook on low until the tomatoes have and broken down – about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and lemon zest.  Add enough wine to make the mixture soupy.  Add the andouille back to the pan.  Turn heat up and bring to the boil.  Let boil 2-3 minutes. This will allow the alcohol in the wine to cook off and the mixture to reduce slightly.

Meanwhile, heat a heavy bottomed skillet (cast-iron works beautifully) over high heat.  Pat the scallops dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.  Add a little oil to the pan and put the scallops in the pan.  Cook until a golden brown crust forms and then flip and repeat.  The exterior should have a golden brown crust, but the interior should be slightly translucent and velvety.  Remove from the pan until ready to eat.

Back at the main event … Add your clams and calamari and cover.  Let cook for 2 minutes.  Remove lid and add shrimp to the pan.  Cook until the shrimp are pink, the calamari are opaque and the clams have just opened.  Add the fresh herbs and the lemon juice.  Toss to combine, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Pour into a serving bowl and place the scallops on top, garnish with more fresh herbs.  Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.  Enjoy!

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