With the cool weather comes the yearning for comforting stews and soups and hearty winter dishes that warm the soul and satisfies the hunger. One of my family’s favorites is a spicy seafood stew served over saffron or white rice. Mildly spicy, delicious and simple to prepare. Once you get the hang of it, this recipe could easily be prepared in under 30 minutes. It’s so yummy, it could be served as a family weeknight meal or for holiday dinner guests.
Mix it up a bit and add fresh basil instead of the parsley, or add lemon thyme instead of English thyme and squeeze of lemon. This recipe is definitely easy, can be prepared everyday and as always, it tastes like you’ve been cooking for hours.
Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!
Spicy Seafood Stew
2 medium leeks
1 red bell pepper, diced
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sprig of fresh oregano
1 sprig of fresh thyme
½ lb Chorizo sausage
1 cup dry white wine
1 15oz can diced tomatoes (I prefer Muir Glen)
½ cup water
1-2 lb small clams
1lb firm white fish (cod, halibut, mahi mahi)
1 lb bay shrimp
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Saffron rice or white rice (optional)
Trim the leeks by cutting off the root end, and then cut the leek at the point it begins to turn dark green. Slice each leek length wise making 4 halves total, and then slice each half into thirds lengthwise and then chop into small pieces.
Drizzle a little oil in the bottom of a heavy stock pot or Dutch oven. Heat on medium and then sauté the leeks and bell pepper. Once the veggies have wilted, add the garlic and sauté a few minutes more.
Next add the chorizo and sauté until cooked through.
Add the fresh thyme, oregano and white wine. Let the wine reduce a bit, a minute or two, and then add the diced tomatoes. Bring to a lively simmer and add the ½ cup water if more liquid is needed.
Once the broth is simmering add the clams and cover tightly with a lid. Turn the heat down a bit and let the clams steam in the hot broth for about 5-8 minutes. Once the clams have opened, taste the broth for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Next add the white fish and shrimp, giving the stew a little stir. Put the lid back on and let the stew simmer on medium low for another 5 minutes. Once the fish is cooked through, taste stew for seasoning and then sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top.
For a warm and delicious winter meal, serve over saffron rice (Spanish rice) or white rice, and a squeeze of lemon juice.