June 28, 2010

Saturday with Friends

Although it was somewhat last minute, it was wonderful!

We had some friends over Saturday night for a light dinner at our place. The weather was kind and decided to be cool enough to eat and enjoy with just some fans running. Although the wine I bought to have with dinner was awful, just really awful, the rest was lovely.

I made too much of course (I almost doubled the recipe I'm posting here), and unlike other dishes that I usually make, this couldn't be left for the next day. So despite the light fare, we stuffed ourselves so as not to waste one single bite. It was well worth it. Along with the Seafood Stew (which sounds much heavier than it really is), we had some fresh mozzarella and sausage to start, salad, and gelato for desert. Of course plenty of crusty bread was on hand too.

This "stew" is based on a Portuguese Caldeirada Da Marisco, but really, you can find something similar in any seaside town across Europe. It's light, flavorful, and as with all my favorite recipes, customizable. I used mussels, monkfish, and shrimp because they're some of my favorite, but feel free to use clams, squid, halibut - any combo of shelfish and fleshy fish. On a bitter sweet note, we enjoyed this with the knowledge that it may very well have been the last time we would all feel safe about eating mussels or shrimp for a while. It's sad but true.

So in homage to the gulf coast and in the spirit of a speedy and healthful recovery, I hope you'll indulge and enjoy!

Summer Seafood Stew
15-20 mussels (a little trick I learned from the Barefoot Contessa that really works well: place the mussels in a bowl of cool water made cloudy by flour. Because they're filters, the mussels with suck in the flour and expel any grit or sand in them. Do this about 15 minute before you cook them)
1/2 lb large deveined shrimp
3/4 lb firm, fleshy white-fish, cut into 1" pieces
2 large white potatoes cut into cubes
3 large tomatoes cut into cubes
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
2 tbs butter
2 cups white wine
32 oz vegetable broth (or seafood broth)
Fresh cilantro

-In a large pot, saute the garlic and shallots in 1 tbs of butter until soft
-Add broth and bring to boil. Add potatoes and boil until half way cooked
-Add wine, tomatoes, and fish, let boil for a minute or two before adding the shrimp and mussels
-Let everything boil until potatoes are cooked, mussels have opened, and shrimp are pink
-Add last tbs of butter and swirl in. Taste it, depending on the broth you use, you may want to add some salt or pepper. Also depending on broth and wine, if it's too salty or intense, add a cup of water.
-Before serving, add a few fresh sprigs of cilantro to bowl.
-This will not last overnight, so enjoy it! Will serve 4-6 people.

This next recipe was the morning after. There weren't any leftovers obviously, but there was some sausage, cheese, and bread left. Mmmm, left over breakfast!

Morning After Grilled Cheese
2 slices pan de casa
Spreadable soft herbed cheese, like alouette or goat cheese
Thin slices of sausage
1+ tbs of olive oil

-Heat oil in a nonstick pan
-Spread cheese on both sides of bread, add the thin cuts of sausage
-Sear sandwich. Depending on the bread, it may need more oil when you flip it because of absorption

1 comment:

  1. What a scrumptious looking stew, Duchess!! I've never made my own seafood stew before but I really want to after seeing your recipe. :-) And the grilled cheese? Bliss. :-)