This was a very flavorful and satisfying stew that can be augmented by other additions – e.g. we used shrimp, scallops and haddock but clams and other types of fish could be used. Cooking the (shell)fish separately helps to bring an added element to the flavor since they marinate and steam themselves outside of the stock base. It’s worth the extra step to have that. This comes from David Tanis in NYTimes Cooking.
For this you’ll need: x1 medium onion (chopped), x4 cloves garlic (peeled and grated), 1 lb white fish (we used haddock, skinless), 1/2 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined), 1/2 lb scallops, 2 Tbsp fresh thyme (stems removed), x1 lemon (sliced), 1/2 tsp saffron, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds, x1 bay leaf, x1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 cup dry white wine, x4 tomatoes (diced, we used Roma), 3 cups fish stock, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Marinate the (shell)fish by placing it all (fish, shrimp, scallops) into a medium bowl along with a good drizzle of olive oil, the lemon slices, 1 Tbsp of fresh thyme and some salt and pepper. Toss well and set aside for at least 30 minutes (it can be marinaded for 8 hours if covered and refrigerated).
In a Dutch oven or large cook pot, add about 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and stir well until just beginning to wilt and change color – 2-3 minutes. Add the second 1 Tbsp thyme, grated garlic, saffron, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, crushed fennel seed and tomato paste and stir well until combined and darkening in color – about 2-3 mins.
Add in the fish stock (saving about 1/4-1/2 cup for cooking the fish), white wine, and chopped tomatoes, stir well and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste – season well – and then bring the whole thing to a gentle simmer. Let it cook, uncovered, for 10-20 mins. Let it sit, covered, for 30 mins or so for everything to settle.
Meanwhile, place the fish and shellfish into a high rimmed 9″x 12″ baking tray – keeping the liquid and lemon peels included. Spoon the saved fish stock over the (shell)fish so that everything is wet but not covered in liquid. Spread foil over the tray and crimp at the edges to seal the tray inside. Place into the preheated oven and let cook for 10-20 mins until everything is cooked through.
Spoon the cooked seafood into equal portions in serving bowls and then ladle the stew over the top. Serve with crusty bread.