When the weather transitions to warmer days but the early evening still has a chill in the air; this is a perfect stew to make while sitting around a backyard fire with friends, playing music and sipping Riesling. I shop at a local fish monger and choose whatever is the freshest so the ingredients can be altered but the taste is all comfort.
Assorted seafood – fish, shrimp, lobster tails, scallops, crab legs
Fish broth infused with saffron
Cured sausage, cut in pieces
Diced onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, fennel
For garnish – fennel fronds, chopped chives, parsley
Salt, pepper, chilli oil
Roast the seafood with shells on in a hot oven (400˚) for 10 minutes, this gives a deeper flavour to the stew. While the shellfish is in the oven, preheat a wok or pot on the stove top, add vegetable oil and sauté onion, garlic, tomatoes, diced fennel and sausage.
Add the fish broth and a few stands of saffron. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the roasted shellfish, if you use lobster, remove the meat first from the shell then add to the stew. Add any other firm, raw fish such as pieces of salmon or halibut. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the seafood stew into bowls, garnish with parsley, chives, fennel fronds and a drizzle of chilli oil. Serve with chunks of baguette spread with herbed, garlic butter. Share with friends and salut to Spring!