This is a seafood stew loosely-based on Cioppino. The fragrance of fennel, saffron, and fish is intoxicating.
Fish & Shrimp Stew
3 servings = 408 calories, 18g carbs / 4 servings = 307 calories, 13g carbs
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 a large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup sliced fennel (or 1 stalk celery + 1 T. fennel seeds)
3-4 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2-3 pinches saffron
1/4 cup Pernod
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can (15-ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2-3 oil-packed anchovies
3/4 cup seafood stock or organic chicken broth
2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
3/4 pound medium tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound skinless flaky white fish such as bass, halibut, hake, or cod, cut into 1-inch pieces
MAKE THE TOMATO STEW
Mince garlic cloves. In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, fennel (or more celery and fennel seeds), celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the minced garlic and red-pepper flakes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add tomato paste, oregano, and saffron and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add Pernod, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Add wine, raise heat to medium-high, and cook until cooking liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes with their juice, bay leaves, anchovies, and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, 15-20 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
ADD THE SEAFOOD
When ready to serve, heat the pot to medium and stir in the shrimp. Arrange the fish on top of the stew, cover, and simmer until fish and shrimp are firm and opaque, about 5-8 minutes. Discard bay leaves and stir in parsley.
Serve stew immediately in large soup bowls with crusty sourdough bread, and a glass of buttery chardonnay.