Key Lime & Coconut

My adventures in the world of food & wine

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Sustainable Seafood Stew

This week is crazy busy for me for some reason. Tons of reading for class, work for my internship, errands to run and events to attend. Somehow (not sure exactly how) I found time to make a pretty delicious meal tonight. Fortunately I have leftovers, so if I'm too busy to cook tomorrow, I won't have to starve.

Spanish Fish Stew with Peppers, Almonds and Saffron is really quite healthy. I'm on phase 2 of South Beach, so I served it on top of some brown rice to make a really filling and awesome meal. I try to be really conscious about what seafood I eat; this summer I worked for an environmental non-profit organization called Oceana that does a lot of marine conservation, and I learned a lot about unsustainable fisheries and the damage to the oceans that a lot of fishing practices can do. Fortunately there are some kinds of seafood that aren't so terrible to eat, and those are what I put into my stew. Farmed clams are one of those OK seafoods - they don't have to be dredged off the ocean floor to be eaten. (Dredging kills everything that lives on the sea floor, like coral reefs and turtles.) Pacific halibut is also a fish you can eat with a clean conscience, because that's a fishery that's responsibly managed and not in huge danger of overexploitation. For a complete guide to ocean friendly seafood, Oceana publishes a great list and you can find it here.

Spanish Fish Stew with Peppers, Almonds and Saffron
Serves 4
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 c. dry white wine
  • one 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron threads, crumbled into 2 Tbsp. hot water
  • 1/4 c. salted roasted almonds
  • 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1-1/4 lbs. Pacific halibut, meat cut into 1-inch pieces
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy casserole. Add the onion, bell pepper strips and garlic and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary, paprika, and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water and saffron and bring to a boil. Cover the casserole and cook over medium high for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, finely grind the almonds in a food processor. Stir in the almonds into the stew and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the clams, cover and cook until most of them open, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the fish and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until the fish is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Transfer to bowls; serve over brown rice if desired.

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Blogger Lydia said...

This sounds like it would be delicious even without the rice! I love seafood and saffron together.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous The Cooking Ninja said...

oohh....I love shellfish ... this plate looks absolutely delicious. Recently I cooked my very first Moules Marinière.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Katerina said...

I must admit I am conscious of what I eat as well. We are extremley lucky in the Pacific northwest with all the sustainable choices we have - including Halibut. Nice post.

12:13 PM  

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