Fish and Seafood Stew

This heady stew is in the tradition of Italian Christmas Eve, but borrows flavors from around the Mediterranean.

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound (21-25 per pound) peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 1/2 teapsoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cored, quartered and sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 24 little neck cans, scrubbed
  • 24 mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
  • 4 cups seafood broth or clam juice
  • 1 pound codfish fillet, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in stock pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add half to the pot and cook until lightly browned, 1 minute per side; transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining shrimp to pot and repeat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pot and add onion, fennel, garlic, oregano, basil, and saffron; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 4-5 minutes. Pour in the vermouth, bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Add 1 cup water and tomatoes. Return to a boil, add the clams, cover and cook until clams open, 5-6 minutes. Transfer clams to bowl with shrimp. Add mussels to the pot, cover and cook until open, 2-3 minutes; transfer to bowl with shrimp.
  2. Pour remaining 2 cups water and broth into pot; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Add codfish, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; gently cook 2-3 minutes until cod is nearly cooked through. Stir in parsley, then return shrimp, clams, and mussels to pot. Increase heat to medium high and cook until hot, 2 minutes. Serve.