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Summer Seafood Stew

Normally, when you think of stews, you think of a crisp, fall day and turning leaves. It’s time get cozy and stay in a little more and go out a little less...

...Well, fuh’get about it!! There’s still plenty of summer left, and just in time for another warm and breezy outdoor patio party is a light and summery seafood stew with caramelized fennel and chorizo. It’s light, bright, and simmering with colorful flavor.

The caramelized fennel adds a touch of sweetness, while the chorizo (or soy chorizo) turns up a little summer heat.

Today’s Summer Seafood Stew is a delightful treat brought to you by Feasting at Home.com:

Cook Time:

20 minutes Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes Cuisine: Northwest Yield: 4 Category: Main

INGREDIENTS:

6 - 8 ounces crumbled chorizo 2 cups finely diced fennel (one large bulb) 1 cup finely diced onion (half a large onion) 4 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly diced 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 cup dry white wine 4 cups chicken stock (or a good fish stock) 1 teaspoon fish sauce (leave out if using fish stock) 2 medium tomatoes - diced 8 oz. firm fish like halibut, tilapia, mahi mahi, or salmon 1 lb. mussels (frozen are OK, but get fresh if you can) 1 lb. large prawns, raw, peeled and deveined Cracked pepper ⅓ cup chopped flat leaf parsley 1 lemon Salt if necessary 2 tablespoons olive oil Crusty bread or 1 cup of cannellini beans

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a large heavy bottom deep skillet or Dutch oven, brown 6 - 8 ounces of chorizo in a little olive oil. (Remove from casing and break up or crumble into small bite size pieces). Once browned, set aside. Pour off the fat, wipe out skillet with paper towel.

In same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add fennel, stirring often for about 3 minutes*. Add onion, turn heat down to medium and sauté both until tender, about 8 - 10 minutes. Add garlic, sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until garlic starts to turn golden. Add tomato paste. Turn heat up to high, constantly stirring, until paste darkens, about 3 more minutes. You are basically frying the paste to deepen the flavor of the dish.

Add white wine and turn heat down to medium high, stirring until it mostly evaporates, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, browned chorizo, and fish sauce and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, taste for salt. Add cracked pepper. Add fish, simmer a couple minutes and add prawns, simmer a couple minutes, then add mussels. Remember the larger the prawns or mussels or fish pieces, the longer they take to cook, so look at all your seafood ingredients and determine which will take the longest to cook, putting them first.

Finish with a squeeze of a half a lemon and sprinkle generously with flat leaf parsley.

Serve with crusty bread. You could also cut a loaf of good quality garlic or rosemary bread into thick slices, arrange on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and fresh rosemary sprigs, and bake in a 400F oven until toasty, or even better, grill the bread.

If you are going gluten free, try adding a cup of cooked cannellini beans to the stew for added heartiness, instead of serving with bread.

* Note: the cooked fennel adds subtle sweetness to the stew, and the licorice flavor will mellow with cooking.

What also makes this recipe incredibly unique is that you can easily substitute other seafood choices for the fish, such as scallops and shrimp. The incredible flavor and savoriness of this stew will have guests begging for more, and asking to take the recipe home to make it themselves! Serve it up with a nice summer salad beforehand, and perhaps a sweet dessert of fruits and berries or even a peach cobbler to follow for a sensational summer soirée!