Have you thought of serving rice and stew for a dinner party? You may be thinking, really? Rice and stew? That’s so basic. Hold your horses, this is not just your average home cooked stew, but Seafood Stew. Nothing says special or festive like a stew made from an array of seafood. Even at restaurants, seafood stew ranks on the top shelf of the price list. If you are willing to splurge on food for a party, just head to the fish market and pick and choose. This is a really simple stew that is packed full of flavour because the seafood basically does all the work for you.
You will need
A variety of seafood – mussels, prawns, calamari, crab, firm white fish (2 or 3 varieties)
4 large Tomatoes
2 Red bell peppers
3 Scotch bonnets
White wine – substitute with fish stock or water if you don’t cook with alcohol
2 small red onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons of Fish sauce
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
Seasoning cube – optional
1. Clean the seafood thoroughly, sprinkle over the lemon juice and set aside
2. Using a blender, blend the tomatoes, red bell peppers, scotch bonnets and 1 red onion to a smooth paste.
3. Empty the contents of the blender into a pot, turn up the heat and boil the pepper mixture for 10 minutes.
4. Chop the other red onion, and finely mince the garlic. Cut the green and yellow bell pepper into julienne strips and set aside. In a deep saucepan or pot, heat up 4 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic till translucent.
5. Add in the reduced pepper and let it fry till it thickens into a rich tomato stock. Now add 2 cups of fish stock, 1 cup of white wine, chopped fresh thyme (or a teaspoon of dried thyme) and bring to a boil.
6. Add the rest of the ingredients (except basil) into the boiling bubbling stock, taste for salt and seasoning cube. Re-adjust for taste if necessary.
7. Add the seafood, lemon juice and all into the boiling pot and lower the heat.
it is advisable to cook seafood on low heat to preserve the flavour. Cover the pot, and let the stew cook for 10 – 15 minutes until the contents have cooked through. While it is cooking, you will notice that the stew has become watery.
Not to worry, this is just the water content of the seafood leaching out into the stew. This is what you want as this contains the flavour you desire and as it cooks further, the stew will thicken
The mussels should also open. Discard any mussels that don’t open. Sprinkle over chopped basil and shake the pot in a circular motion. Let this cook for another 2 minutes and take off the heat.
Serve in a deep dish, sprinkle over chopped coriander, and garnish with lemon wedges.
Serve an accompanying deep dish of boiled Basmati rice.