This is a favorite meal in our home for company, and it will nourish your heart and brain as it is loaded with healthy nutrients. Ensure you buy very fresh fish and shellfish. Vary vegetables and seafood according to availability.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Simmering time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 (makes about 8-10 cups)
1 Tbsp Virgin olive oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
1/4 tsp Sea salt
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp Italian herbs, dried (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil)
¼ tsp Black pepper, ground
3 large Carrots, chopped
1 med-large Fennel (or 3 celery stalks) Cut away any tiny roots from the base, remove stems & leaves. Chop fennel bulb into ½-inch pieces.
1 cup Red wine
1 medium Red bell pepper, remove seeds, stem, and chop
1 cup Chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce
2 cups Vegetable or fish broth, low sodium
1 pound Mussels and/or clams in the shell, scrubbed clean
1 pound Whitefish, cut into 1-inch pieces (tilapia, cod, snapper, catfish—whichever is fresh)
1/2 pound Shrimp, large, peeled and deveined (or crab legs in the shell)
8 large Sea scallops
½ cup Parsley, chopped
Heat a large stew pot over medium-high heat. Add oil, then onions, salt, mushrooms, herbs, black, pepper, and stir for 2 minutes. Add carrots and fennel and cook another 2 minutes. Add wine to de-glaze for 30 seconds while stirring (the wine helps release the onions sugars stuck to the pan). Add bell pepper, tomato sauce, broth and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, soak fish, shrimp, and scallops in orange juice or milk for 15 minutes. Rinse and drain when ready to add to pot.
Bring another pan with a steamer tray to a boil, add muscles and/or clams and cook until they open, 5-6 minutes. Drain, saving 1 cup of clam-mussel liquid from steaming and set aside.
Increase temperature under the large stew pot to medium-high and add fish, shrimp, and scallops. Heat 4-5 minutes, until shrimp are pink and fish is cooked. Add drained mussels and clams, plus 1 cup of clam-mussel liquid and simmer another minute.
Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with parsley. This stew is fabulous accompanied with a tossed green salad on the side or as a second course. Be sure to set table with a second batch of large bowls for discarded shells.
Steven Masley, MD