Sunday, January 6, 2013

Shellfish Stew - Good any time of year

It's good anytime of year, as long as the shellfish are in season. 
Honestly, this is barely a stew, rather it's just a nice way of eating a bunch of shellfish and having some broth left over to dunk your crusty bread.  I end up making this a bunch in the summer, but it's very refreshing in the winter as well - let alone the shellfish are more in season.


  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 4 oz bacon, chopped into 1/4" dice
  • 1/2 # of cooked linquica, andouille or another smoked sausage, cut into 1/4" rounds
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tb fennel seed
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored, sliced thin
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced thin, reserve any celery leaves
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper, flattened, sliced thin
  • 1 c. white wine, picpoul de pinet or something similar
  • 1 c. fish stock
  • 24 manila clams
  • 10 large shrimp, heads-on preferred
  • 2 # mussels
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4" Italian parsley, chopped


  • Get a big pot and put over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and when aromatic, put in the bacon.  Saute the bacon, periodically stirring, until the bacon is crisp.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.
  • Saute the linquica in the bacon fat and olive oil for a couple minutes until slightly browned on the edges,  Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.

  • Add the garlic, red pepper and fennel seed to the fat in the pot and briefly saute for a minute or two, making sure the garlic and fennel seed do not brown too much.

  • Add the onions, fennel,  and red pepper and saute for 4 minutes, until the fennel is starting to soften.
  • Add the white wine and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until it's boiled down a bit.
  • Add the fish stock and bring to a simmer. 
  • Return the linquica to the pot and mix well.
  • Add the clams and shrimp and cover the pot.  Steam for 4 minutes.

  • Add the mussels and cover the pot.  Steam for 4 minutes more.

  • Add the cherry tomatoes, parsely, celery leaves, bacon and stir for a 30 seconds.
  • Turn off heat and ladle the mixture into bowls.  Serve with tasty crusty bread.

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