This dish was prepared in honor of Nelson’s Birthday. Since Chris and I are a bit cash-poor these days (just bought the house), I thought it would be more economical to wine and dine him at home. This stew was inspired from a Cioppino I had at a restaurant. The Cioppino was a bit hearty for my taste but I thought it would be more appropriate to call it a stew. Served with crusty bread, it really hits the spot on a cold winter night.
- 4 strips of bacon, diced
- olive oil for cooking
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and diced (mine was the size of a starchy potato)
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, crushed (using the tip of
- salt and pepper to season
- 2/3 cup of red wine (I used Merlot)
- 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano tomatoes)
- 1 (32-ounce) container of fish stock
- 1 pound of fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1/2 pound of fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound of fresh fluke (or any firm white fish that looks fresh that day), cut in small pieces
- 6 large fresh sea scallops, cut in half
- fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon and olive oil. Cook bacon until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Reserve for garnish.
In the rendered bacon fat add onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes then add carrots, celery, potato, bay leaf, thyme and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes then deglaze pot with red wine. Let it bubble and reduce. About 1 minute. Pour in crushed tomatoes and fish stock. Stir to combine. Cover and let the broth simmer over medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until vegetables softened.
Add mussels to the pot. Cover and cook until mussels start to open (about 3-4 minutes). Then add in shrimp, fluke and sea scallops. Cover and poach until opaque (about 4-5 minutes). Discard bay leaf and check for seasoning. Ladle stew and garnish with fresh parsley and reserved bacon. Serve with