As I won’t be eating bouillabaisse in the South of France any time soon, I thought I would have a go at a fish stew of my own. The fish was cod loins but any firm white fish will do and the seafood was wild caught shrimp. First of all I made a sauce with a mixture of tomatoes and fennel and the addition of clam juice and pulsed this in a food processor so it was still a little chunky. Then I added in the shrimp and cod and simmered until they were translucent and cooked through. Serve as a stand alone dish or with rice, rice noodles or a green salad.
1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion – chopped
2 large cloves of garlic – grated
1 head of fennel – roughly chopped
1 x 28oz. can of tomatoes (best tomatoes to use are those certified as San Marzano)
8. fl. oz. clam juice (Bar Harbor brand is good)
8 oz. shrimp – defrosted first if frozen
10 oz. cod or other firm white fish – defrosted first if frozen – cut into bite size chunks
Heat the oil in a frying pan and, when sizzling, add the onion and soften but don’t brown, then stir in the garlic and cook for a couple minutes before tipping in the fennel. After a few more minutes pour in the canned tomatoes and crush them a bit with a potato masher and add the clam juice.
Bring the mixture to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Pulse the contents of the pan in a food processor – you still want to have texture so don’t over do it and end up with a puree.
Pour this mixture into a cast iron casserole dish and add the shrimp, fish.
Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for half and hour.