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Fish & Shellfish Stew Greek Style

Fish & Shellfish Stew Greek Style
To accompany this simple, flavorful seafood stew, toast baguette slices, rub them with a raw garlic clove while still warm and brush them lightly with extra-virgin olive oil. The seafood you use for this dish is completely up to you. Try snapper, striped bass, clams, mussels and shelled, deveined shrimp, in any combination.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp. saffron threads
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup trimmed and thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups fish or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 lb. thinly sliced waxy potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 lb. assorted shellfish and fish fillets (see note above)

Directions:

In a dry fry pan over medium heat, toast the saffron until fragrant and a shade darker, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and crumble the threads.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, fennel and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, potatoes, oregano and saffron. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust the heat so the mixture simmers, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

If using clams and mussels, scrub them well, debearding the mussels if necessary; discard any that do not close to the touch. Cut the fish into 1 1/2-inch chunks.

Add the clams and mussels to the pan, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the fish, cover and simmer for 1 minute. Add the shrimp, cover and simmer until all the shellfish with shells have opened (discard any that do not), and the shrimp and fish are cooked and opaque throughout, about 5 minutes more.

Remove from the heat and ladle the stew into warmed bowls. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).