When we have friends over to visit, it’s fun to cook something local. And the further away they come from, the nicer the meal we cook. Well, not really, but that’s what Marion thought when she came up from San Francisco. This seafood stew cooks in a red sauce, and is perfect with nothing more than a rustic loaf of salted rosemary bread and the company of a friend.
Slice up an onion, a fennel bulb, a red bell pepper, some slices of orange zest, and about a cup of crimini mushrooms. Saute them all up at once over medium-high heat, in olive oil, for about five minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Add 1/2 cup dry white vermouth, 16 oz clam juice, and a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes. Also add salt and pepper, a dash of hot sauce (we use tapatio), a little fresh rosemary, dried tarragon, and dried thyme. Bring it all up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes. Then remove it from the heat and adjust the seasonings to taste.
In a separate pan, heat up some olive oil to medium high. Add salt and pepper to 8 oz of salmon or other fish (we get ours from Surfin’ Seafood) and 8 oz scallops. Sear quickly for 2 minutes on either side. Then add 1/4 cup of pernod (a licorice-flavored alcohol) and 4 small quartered red potatoes (pre-cooked). Cook for 2 more minutes and scrape the contents of the pan into the fish pot.
Turn the heat on the fish pot back up to medium-high and stir the fish in, so it’s covered. Once the salmon looks close to done (it’s starting to flake), then add 12 oz clams and 12 oz mussels (these were from Penn Cove). Bring the pot to a boil and cover. Add white wine if the liquid seems low. Boil until the shells open in the mussels and the clams.
Serve with warm rustic bread (we had a rosemary diamante loaf that was excellent).