Provençal Seafood Stew
Although it features the classic flavors of Provençal bouillabaisse, this stew is a bit lighter, thanks to a rouille that has less oil than the traditional version and gets it bright color and flavor from naturally sweet bell peppers. Plump scallops entice even the wariest of seafood eaters, with their mild, slightly sweet flavor.
For the rouille:
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. minced shallots
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1⁄4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Salt, to taste
- 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1⁄2 lb. (250 g) small yellow potatoes, cut into 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) cubes
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 lb. (500 g) scallops, tough muscles removed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3⁄4 lb. (375 g) cleaned squid, bodies cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) rings and tentacles coarsely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, stalks and fronds discarded, quartered, cored and sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 Tbs. chopped shallots
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry white wine
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) fish stock or bottled clam juice
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
To make the rouille, in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pepper flakes, season with salt and sauté for 30 seconds more. Add the red peppers, stir to combine and cook until they begin to break down, about 4 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then puree in a blender and season to taste with salt.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the oil. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Sear until golden and medium-rare, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Warm another 1 Tbs. oil in the saucepan. Season the squid with salt and pepper, add it to the pan and sauté until opaque, about 3 minutes. Transfer the squid to the plate.
Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the saucepan and warm over medium heat. Add the fennel, garlic and shallots and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the tomatoes begin to soften and release their juices, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the scallops and the squid with all the juices on the plate. Season with salt and pepper and ladle into shallow bowls. Top with a dollop of rouille, garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy Dish of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014)