Thursday, April 10, 2008

Venetian Seafood Stew

Being in New York is like being in different parts of the world. Why? Coz you have lots of dining choices! You want to eat a Parisian delicacy - check! A meat pie ala London - check! If you want lollies and yummy chocolate, there are lots of confectionaries in NY! Wanna feel like you're eating in romantic Venice? New York has a resto for that too! The only problem is there fancy restaurants are quite hard on the budget. So for us who's into saving mode, why not cook your own 5-star restaurant recipe at home? Presenting the Venetian Seafood Stew recipe from Osteria da Fiore in Venice! Go cook guys! ^_^ Next week, I'll give a recipe for sweets. Watch out for that!

Venetian Seafood Stew

8 ounces mussels, beards removed, scrubbed and well rinsed
8 ounces clams, scrubbed and well rinsed
8 ounces baby calamari, cleaned (if you can only fine large calamari, cut them in half)
8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 ounces red mullet fillet, cut into 1-ince pieces
3 ounces sole fillet, cut into 1-ince pieces
3 ounces halibut fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 ounces monkfish fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large scallops, halved crosswise

2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Leaves from 3 sprigs thyme
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2 quarts simmering Fish Broth

Place the mussels and clams in a medium saucepan. Add a cup of water, cover, and cook over medium-high heat until the shells are open, about 6 minutes. Discard any unopened shells. Let cool slightly, then remove the meat from the clams and mussels. Set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid.

In a large saucepan or braising pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes; do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add the tomato and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic cloves.

Add the baby calamari and cook, stirring here and there, for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp; cook for a minute. Season the red mullet, sole, halibut, and monkfish with salt. Add them to the pan along with the scallops. Gently move the fish around the pan to cook evenly. After 2 to 3 minutes, add the white wine and cook until it evaporates by half.

Add the reserved liquid from the clams and mussels; leave behind the bottom quarter of liquid, which will likely contain sand. Using a ladle, spoon in the simmering fish broth. Immediately remove the part from the heat. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve immediately, or cool quickly in an ice bath and serve, reheated, the next day. Serves 6.

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