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Author Notes: This recipe came to me via my in-laws and I'm grateful. It's dead easy) as they said it would be. I made it for my daughter's birthday (7, at her request) and tonight for a pre-Christmas dinner with friends. Doubled the quantity both times. For the party, we had 12 or so and it was gone (doubled); tonight we had 10, but four were children, and we have enough for a couple of bowls tomorrow. —gabby
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 shallots, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup white wine (your preference, just not sweet nor fruity)
- .5 teaspoons salt
- .5 teaspoons dried basil
- .25 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes (canned)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 orange rind
- 1 pound pacific halibut, tilapia, or similar fish (or combination of fish), cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1.5 pounds mussels (more if you'd like) - rinsed and trimmed of beard
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Heat oil on medium in large, low pot that has a lid. Sauté shallots and red bell for about five minutes.
- Add the next eight the ingredients, the wine through the orange rind and simmer on medium low for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Nestle the shellfish in the sauce, spooning to cover. Place the fish on top and cover the pot. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the mussels have opened. Gently stir to mix.
- Discard any unopened shellfish. Ladle into a bowel and serve with a pinch of parsley. Other garnishes may be chervil, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce. My small children eschew the spicy options.
- Options: The original recipe calls for orange roughy which is on the no-fish list for us. Good, sustainable substitutes are Pacific halibut and farmed tilapia. Tilapia tends to flake but is a well-priced fish, if not bland. I like to mix the tilapia with something more flavorful and balance the cost and flavor. When I double the recipe, I added clams. So I end up with 1.5 pounds of mussels and 2 pounds of clams because the heavier clam shells mean that you get fewer clams per pound.