I have been lurking around the seafood section of our local market for the last couple of weeks - looking for some sort of inspiration but not really knowing where to start. Should I go with fish, a crustacean, scallops, mussels or just stick to squid…I have been plagued by indecision.
And finally this morning it came to me, I would make something that included all of them. Something quite hearty for these cool days and something special enough for our Friday night dinner. I thought I would throw a little Spanish into the mix and came up with Suquet De Pescados – a Catalan Fish Stew.
The recipe includes the usual suspects – garlic, onion, tomatoes and saffron. It is a robust stew with an aroma that will weaken your knees. The saffron brings a gorgeous colour and it’s gentle flavour compliments the seafood beautifully. As they say in Spain, Buen apetito!
1 large ripe tomato
50 ml olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
10 blanched almonds
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
1 teaspoon saffron threads
950 mls/2 pints fish stock, warmed in a saucepan
100 mls dry white wine
1 kilogram/2.2 pounds monkfish fillets, cut into thick cubes
400 grams/14 ounces squid, cleaned and cut into rings
500 grams/1.1 pound mussels, washed and debearded
12 medium-sized prawns, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
Grate the tomato into a bowl with a box grater, discarding the skin.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden. Transfer garlic to a mortar and pestle, add almonds and parsley and pound to a coarse paste, set aside. Add onion and bay leaves to saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened.
Add tomato and saffron, stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes, add the fish stock and wine and cook for 10 minutes over low heat.
Add the seafood and cook for 10-12 minutes or until all the seafood is cooked. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper then transfer the stew into bowls and top each with a dollop of the pounded garlic, parsley and almond mixture.
Yield: Serves 6
Source: adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.