Seafood Stew with Fennel

by Kimberly Hickok

Just about every Saturday I make my way to my local farmer’s market. I’m always amazed at the variety – local variety – meat, poultry, produce, baked goods, cheese, wine, honey, mushrooms, soap, pottery, jewelry . . . I could go on and on. This past year, though, we’ve been lucky enough to have FRESH FISH at the market.

How? Well, Pura Vida Fisheries based in Hampton Bays, NY has been making the five hour trip from Long Island up to Saratoga Springs, NY.  This week’s catch was the inspiration for this Seafood Stew with Fennel recipe.

What I like about a seafood stew is that you can use any combination of seafood to make it. This one is made with cod, scallops, clams and mussels.

Seafood Stew with Fennel
Seves 4 – Total time – 45 minutes
1 1/2 pounds white fish (cod, hake or whatever you like)
1/2 pound bay scallops
1 dozen mussels
1 dozen clams
1 bulb fennel, sliced thinly
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of saffron (optional)
A good amount of dry white wine, maybe a cup? (I used an Orvieto)
28 oz. can of good canned whole tomatoes – separate the tomatoes from the juice – run a knife through the tomatoes to roughly chop

A tip – really, and I mean really, scrub your clams and mussels to get rid of any sand.

This is a very simple recipe – this is how I made it.

Heat olive oil until almost smoking. Add the cod and cook for 2-3 minutes. Don’t flip. Remove from pan and set aside.

After you remove the fish from the pan, add crushed garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, onion and fennel. Cook until tender and light brown. Add dry white wine. Cook until the wine evaporates.

Add tomatoes, tomato liquid and some water or wine until the broth suits your taste. Simmer for about 15 minutes to develop the flavors. Add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t oversalt!

Next add fish and scallops back to the broth, cook 5 minutes. Add clams and mussels. Cover. When the clams and mussels open, the stew is ready. I like to serve with parmesan toast.

To make, simply slice an Italian loaf and brush with olive oil. Use a vegetable peeler to shave parmesan cheese. Place on oiled bread and broil. That’s it.

The finished product! Place cod, scallops, clams and mussels in the bowl. Spoon over the fennel broth, sprinkle fennel fronds and add the parmesan toast.

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Michelle | A Dish of Daily Life March 10, 2016 - 4:58 pm

Oh I am jealous! Fish at your farmer’s market?! We have a local beef farmer and a chicken CSA. I would love it if we had fish too! I love the farmer’s market. It’s one of the highlights of my weekend. Your seafood stew sounds absolutely wonderful! Definitely something my family would love!

Kimberly Hickok March 10, 2016 - 10:33 pm

Thanks Michelle! It’s certainly a treat to have fish and shellfish available at our market! I hope you give this recipe a try.


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