Christmas

Dad's Favorite Seafood Stew

October 16, 2011
4.7 Stars
Photo by Rocky Luten
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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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!

210 Reviews

Marsh November 1, 2021
Two questions before I make this:
1) Can leftovers be frozen? Not there may be any :-)
2) I'm allergic to bivalves/mollusks (e.g. scallops) so I'm assuming I would just use more shrimp and fish? Other suggestions?

Thanks Pat!
 
Marsh November 1, 2021
I posted here before I saw the Questions link-- sorry!

One commenter recommended lobster as a sub. YUM!
 
Les C. January 1, 2021
Delicious and easy, but due to the 16 (!!) large sea scallops it is also VERY expensive.
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 1, 2021
I know that this is a bit pricey but I find it's worth it for a splurge. I'm sure glad you liked it! Thanks!!
 
day F. January 1, 2021
I'm sorry this recipe made no sense. With 1 cup stock and 1/2 cup wine...there is like 12 oz TOTAL of liquid...So 3 oz per person??? I had to doctor this a lot. Trippled the liquid - seafood stock and wine, and used canned tomatoes for more liquid.
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 1, 2021
Sorry you weren't happy but I find that the seafood itself gives up quite a bit of liquid....and remember, it's a stew, not a soup.
 
Les C. January 1, 2021
The serving size is small, for sure, but the amount of liquid was always sufficient when I have made it for two. It’s an extravagance, though, and I’ll never be able to be one of the “Oh, we love it so much we make it every week” set.
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 2, 2021
I only make this when we have my brother up from Baton Rouge. It certainly is not something that is on the weekly rotation. And I think 4 shrimp, 4 sea scallops and 1/4 pound of fish makes up an adequate serving size even though I will admit that I'm always good for "more".
 
tbalx October 30, 2021
The recipe is for seafood soup, so how is that a stew?
 
tbalx October 30, 2021
Oic--the tab says seafood soup but the recipe is seafood stew. Totally confusing

 
Burger June 13, 2020
you can find my reviews at May 15 and 17 2015
 
Jennifer June 13, 2020
Every time I make this I wonder "is that really all there is to it? Is it going to turn out good?" Yep.
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen June 13, 2020
I know! It's an amazingly simple recipe and so easy to make for a weeknight meal or for guests. Thanks so much for enjoying! My Dad would be so happy to see all the compliments this recipe has received!
 
Carol January 21, 2020
Tasty. Simple. Quick. Found lobster stock at an unbelievable deal. Added Aldi’s frozen mixed seafood w calamari and mussels. Husband has nightshade allergy so doubled wine and added Bit of anchovy
paste. Otherwise Followed recipe. What a triumph in taste with crust bread as suggested. Wonderful!!!
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 21, 2020
Thanks Carol! So happy you enjoyed!
 
Kathy K. December 9, 2019
I forget how many years ago I found this recipe, but I have been making it for Christmas Eve every year since. I have a huge family so I make a lot all at once! I adjust the ingredients by the sales that are going on, and scallops are now a must. 😊 I use the shrimp shells to make my stock and usually go with cod as the fish. I also like adding an in-shell mollusk for the added depth in flavor. Sadly, I have to skip the tomatoes because of a new nightshade allergy, so I just add extra wine. Cheers!
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen December 9, 2019
Sounds wonderful to me!! Thanks so much!
 
Scott S. December 9, 2019
So I have freezer full of snapper and amber jack, and I figured I'd try something different than our normal grilling. A quick google hit turned this up, and off to the races I went. So I suck at following directions...had more fish and shrimp than it called for, pot was a little bigger than needed, and I ended up modifying the recipe slightly. I doubled the stock and wine, doubled (ok...maybe a little more than doubled) the garlic, and added a teaspoon of White Pepper Slap your Momma to give it a bit more kick. Used Amber jack, shrimp, and lacking scallops....imitation crab meat. Amber jack went in first, two minutes later shrimp, two minutes later crab-meat. Pulled from heat, added Basil (finely cut) (was missing parsley!!), and served! Surprised the missus, who loved it! And my son heated up French bread in the oven so it was toasty warm and soft.... Two thumbs up from all who ate it.... My wives only comment, other than "DELICIOUS!", was this would go great over linguine:)
 
Scott S. December 9, 2019
Forgot to mention...my son is getting ready to head off to college next spring, and he likes to add dishes to his repertoire....this was a "Must add" from him....
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen December 9, 2019
I do it over linguini often! Thanks so much!!!
 
Mary L. September 4, 2019
Outstanding recipe! We're making this for the third time and will try it tonight with snapper and heirloom tomatoes tonight. We always add more garlic and a few threads of saffron. We make our own fish stock with shrimp shells, bones from the fish and fresh thyme, There are just two of us, so we add just half of the fish and seafood the first night, the rest the second night. Thank you for a delightful splurge!
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen September 4, 2019
Thanks so much Mary!! we're making this twice this month when our son comes in from San Francisco and then again when my brother visits from Baton Rouge. I'm always adding extra garlic and I love your saffron addition!
 
Caria August 11, 2019
Added onions and red pepper flakes. It came out great. Will make again.
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen August 11, 2019
Thank you Carla! So happy you enjoyed!
 
Anna F. December 1, 2018
This looks beautiful! Found this recipe while searching for something to make with homemade seafood stock. Can't wait to try it. One question-- would it be sacrilege to finish it with a little pan seared andouille? Only because I have it to use up too :p
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen December 1, 2018
Oh Anna I'm so glad you found this. Not sure about the andouille. The stew might be a little too delicate but if you think it will work, I certainly have no objection. Thanks!
 
smccassell October 8, 2018
Taught my non-cook husband how to make this tonight. Yum. We will make it a few more times before he can make it on his own. I give him a glass of wine and a kiss for effort!
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen October 8, 2018
YAY! So glad you liked it and sooo impressed that your husband wants to make it too!
 
Jason October 23, 2018
A few more times? He's really milking you on this...it's a simple recipe......just print it out and let him go to town.
 
Amelia September 15, 2018
Simple, quick, and absolutely delicious! Already make this dish often in my house.
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen September 16, 2018
Thanks so much Amelia!
 
Kim K. August 24, 2018
Thank you for this wonderful recipe, Pat! I made it a couple of nights ago using 6 oz. of my own slow-roasted tomatoes. My husband and I just loved it! The broth was rich and flavorful enough (after the addition of some salt and pepper), but the cod and scallops remained decidedly bland. They were better the next day, as often happens with a good soup or stew!

It was such an easy dish that I'd love to make it again. Any suggestions for upping the flavor factor when serving right away?
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen August 24, 2018
So happy you enjoyed this Kim..thanks! I don't have a sub for the scallops but maybe a more assertive fish like snapper or grouper would help. Also I've been known to add a pinch of saffron to the broth now and then.
 
Kim K. August 24, 2018
Thank you, Pat! I adore scallops, so I wouldn't want to replace those. Great idea, though, to use snapper. And I'll try saffron too. Really, it was so yummy. Looking forward to a "next time."
 
Joeyman9 May 12, 2018
Made this last weekend, according to recipe, with one addition. Added a can of fire roasted dice tomatoes along with the Plum tomatoes. Figured the Jersey tomatoes are a long way from being in season. So delicious, easy peezey to make and such pure flavor. So good, wife asked for another round for Mother’s Day
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen May 12, 2018
So glad you enjoyed and yes I substitute canned Marzano tomatoes in the off season also. My dad would have loved that you are making it for Mother's Day!
 
grkmama January 2, 2018
I made this for New Year's Eve. It really is surprisingly delicious! The best part is that is so easy to make! I made it as written, not wanting to play around with it the first time, but it seems easily adaptable to anything. I would serve it with pasta the next time because it really does make a lot of liquid for not being a soup. Perfect for company and easily doubles. It's a keeper!
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 2, 2018
I'm so happy you enjoyed this! And yes, we've served it over pasta also. Feel free to use good canned San Marzano tomatoes when fresh aren't at their best.
 
ziba March 16, 2018
when you add noodle does is become like a soupy pasta (like chicken noodle). I was thinking of adding cream and some noodles to this recipe... cant wait to try!
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen March 16, 2018
Hi ziba! Yes ..adding noodles is a great idea! Not sure about the cream but it sure can't hurt to try! I hope you enjoy..
 
Tigi April 24, 2017
Excellent. Simple, flavorful. Will add some pasta when I serve the left overs. Easy meal to serve for company.
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen April 24, 2017
Thanks so much Tigi!!
 
Eva V. January 17, 2017
Tried this last night and I can see why its "Dad's favorite". As the person doing the cooking its moved to my Top Recipes. Elegant, versatile and full of flavour but easy and quick to prepare, what's not to like!?
Thank you for sharing!
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 17, 2017
Oh I'm so glad you enjoyed Eva. Thank you!!!
 
Charlotte S. October 23, 2016
This was fantastic! I added a dry red wine and used cilantro instead of parsley. So simple and delicious!
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen October 24, 2016
Thanks Charlotte! So happy you enjoyed!
 
Lisa August 5, 2016
I'm a bit confused on the low liquid amount (1 1/2 cups in all, not counting oil); this doesn't seem like much when divided 4, or even 6, ways. Has anyone added more stock? Thank you.
 
Author Comment
inpatskitchen August 6, 2016
Hi Lisa! The seafood will give off much more liquid when cooked, however I have often added more tomatoes and/or stock in the past. Remember, it's a stew, not a soup....