Christmas

Dad's Favorite Seafood Stew

October 16, 2011
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Our family was in the retail fish and seafood business for almost 80 years and during the course of time hundreds of seafood recipes were collected, tested and developed. Dad came up with this one years ago and it's been a family favorite for those of us who love the fruits of the sea. An impressive, but easy, company dish for four to six....Serve it up with crusty bread ! —inpatskitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: inpatskitchen is an avid Food52er and food blogger—with fish and seafood retail in her blood. With over 400 (!) recipes on Food52, many of them contest winners, inpatskitchen is one of our go-to community members for reliably delicious, simple-to-follow recipes.

WHAT: A bright, pure seafood stew that comes together in just 20 minutes. It's chock-full of scallops, shrimp, and any kind of saltwater fish fillets—mild-mannered snapper, halibut, cod, or sole, cut into 2-inch chunks.

HOW: Simmer tomatoes, stock, and wine, add seafood, simmer some more, and garnish. (That's it!) When you're cooking the stew, there are a few things to note: You can make the seafood stock yourself (try out this recipe), buy your favorite kind from the store, or hover somewhere in between with this Genius little trick for near-instant, super-flavorful broth that tastes like the sea. Second, you can make the stewing liquid together the day before—simmering together the stock, wine, and tomatoes—and refrigerating it overnight to let the flavors mingle beautifully. Third, when you're adding in the seafood, keep a close eye on it—shrimp; scallops; and fishes like halibut, cod, snapper, and sole all cook really quick. Shrimp and scallops will be tender to the touch and opaque in color; any of the saltwater fish you use should also be completely opaque in color and flake if prodded with a fork. Last, don't forget that crusty bread! It's essential here, to help sop up all of that extra-flavorful stock.

WHY WE LOVE IT: This stew tastes of the sea—if the sea was delicately perfumed with tomatoes, aromatics, and herbs. Plus, the broth was so good that we drank it on its own. It's equally good during the summer, when tomatoes are at their finest, as it is during the winter, when you're looking to round out your Feast of Seven Fishes with a hearty-but-light stew. —The Editors

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 17 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 6 peeled and seeded roma tomatoes cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup homemade fish stock, purchased seafood stock or clam juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound skinned saltwater fish fillets (snapper, sole, halibut, cod) cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 16 large peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 16 sea scallops
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a 4 to 6 quart dutch oven or sauce pot. Add the crushed garlic and saute on very low heat for about two minutes or until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.
  2. Add the tomatoes, stock, and wine, and simmer for about 10 minutes. (At this point you can cool and refrigerate this if you want to prep a day ahead—just reheat before adding the seafood.)
  3. Add the fish and seafood and simmer for about 5 minutes until just done (be sure not to overcook!). Stir in the parsley and basil and serve immediately (with that crusty bread!).
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Review
inpatskitchen

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!