It turned out delicious, though I did make it too spicy hot for my boys to eat, but my husband and I thought it to be “perfetto”. I used a full 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes. So I made up for it by sautéing some of the fish and scallops separately for them, which they loved. What a treat this Fish Stew is!
1 1/2 lbs. skinless fillet of cod or any white fish like halibut, whiting, hake, red mullet, John Dory – Cut into 1 inch chunks
1 lb. bay scallops or prawns or mussels (or any assorted seafood, such as eel, squid, small octopus, cuttlefish and crawfish) Be adventurous!
2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes for medium spicy hot (or 1/8 tsp just a hint of spice; 1/2 tsp for a high level of spice)
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 celery stalks, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, chopped small or minced
24 oz. chopped tomatoes (use Pomi chopped tomatoes or other canned chopped tomatoes)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped basil
3/4 cup white wine
1 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp fish sauce
kosher salt or sea salt
Prep above ingredients ready to be used.
Heat oil over low heat in a large Dutch or French oven (Le Creuset) or stew pot. Add celery, onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook slowly until veggies are soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Add the chopped tomatoes, parsley & basil. Stir all together. Turn the heat up to medium and add the wine. Cook off the alcohol and reduce liquid to half, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add water and fish sauce. Stir and turn heat to low again. Taste it! Add salt if needed and add a few grinds of pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes with lid slightly open.
Add the fish and other seafood, and turn the heat up just a little, med-low. Cook stew for about 10 minutes with lid on. Add more water if it needs some liquid. Serve immediately. My advice not to put the fish and seafood in stew for a long time before serving. You can prepare the soup base ahead, and toss the meat in 15 minutes before ready to serve. Be sure to add more water if it needs.
Garnish with a little fresh chopped parsley.
Serve with toasted garlic & butter bread. Tastes really great to eat the bread soaked in juices finishing all remnants in your bowl.