Charlie and Steve are the seafood mongers at my Saturday Greenmarket. They are total goofballs who always make me laugh and also really generous. Every week, right before I leave the market they ask me, “Kelly, whaddya want today?” I end up with a fat fillet of something delish each week. Sadly, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to cook the same day of getting the fish, so I’ve been stockpiling a stash in the freezer. In the past few weeks, as I’ve been building up a sizable amount of cod, hake, monk fish and tile fish, I’ve had stew on the mind.
I’m in the first week of a 30 day nutritional reset (basically paleo) that involves eating meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds and minimal fruit. I’m eating really well and already feel energy from taking a break from alcohol, wheat and sugar.
So, yeah, I don’t feel like I’m missing out…especially after eating a big bowl of this stew, fragrant with tomatoes, saffron, coconut milk and a spontaneous swirling in of a tablespoon of a little something luscious, a prize in a butcher shop if you can find it, known as leaf lard.
Spicy Seafood Stew
Yields: 1 large soup pot. This recipe easily feeds 8-10 people.
2 lbs. fish, semi firm preferably (I used a combination of hake, cod, swordfish and monkfish)
1 lb. shrimp
1 large, white onion
1 carrot, thinly into discs sliced on bias
2 leeks, thinly sliced and well washed (soak rings in bowl of cold water)
6 cloves garlic
2 packed c. kale
2 quarts chicken, fish or vegetable stock (or water)
2 cans diced tomato
1 can coconut milk
2 pinches saffron, crumbled
1 sprig thyme
2 t. coriander, ground
2 t. fennel, ground
2 t. red pepper flakes or sambal
1 T. leaf lard or 2 T. butter
- Sweat onions and shallots in large soup pot with a couple glugs of olive oil. Add garlic and cook a couple minutes more.
- Add canned tomatoes, stock or water, crumble in saffron, spices, sprig of thyme and red pepper flakes or sambal.
- Cover with lid and allow flavors to simmer together for 15 minutes, over medium low flame.
- Keeping it at a low simmer, add fish chunks, shrimp and coconut milk.
- Allow stew to cook 5-7 minutes, or until shrimp turn opaque.
- Remove from heat and swirl in 1 T. leaf lard or 2 T. butter.