Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Welcome home Sicilian Seafood Stew

My husband has been away on business this week and was due home today. So because I try to be a domestic goddess and wonderful wife, I wanted to make him a lovely dinner to come home to. It had to be one of those " there's no place like home" type of dinners. I wanted him to walk through that door, be jumped upon by two excited kids and shouts of Daddy Daddy, be hit by the glorious smells coming from the kitchen and just be glad to be home. I had to pull out all the stops because he's been in Italy eating amazing Tuscan food so the usual home cooking wasn't going to cut it. I put my thinking cap on, went to the world famous Bury market with my friend to get inspired and came up with Sicilian Seafood Stew. From the market, I got salmon, smoked haddock, king prawns, green lipped mussels, crab claws, scotch bonnet chillies, garlic, lemons & ciabatta bread all for less than £15.
Well, what can I say it was a successful endeavour. It got all the responses I hoped it would achieve. This really was the most gorgeous dinner and I couldn't help smiling as I served it because it smelt so good and it tasted even better. Anyway if you want to impress without much effort, this is the dish for you.

Sicilian Seafood Stew

1 onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp crushed mixed spices ( I have a spice mix with coriander, cumin & fennel seeds)
3 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
1 x 500g jar of tomato sauce
1 whole scotch bonnet chilli
300ml chicken or fish stock (I used a chicken stock cube because I forgot to get some fish bones to make stock)
2 glasses of red wine
1 tsp crushed mixed spices (I have a spice mix with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds)1 piece of salmon (£3 - £4 in money) skinned & diced
1 piece of smoked haddock (£3 - 4) in money skinned & diced
6 king prawns heads & shells on
6 green lipped mussel half shells
3 crab claws

Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until soft. Add the crushed spices, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, tomato sauce & scotch bonnet chilli (just add this whole and then fish!! it out at the end). Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the stock & the wine. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the salmon & haddock and allow to cook fot about 10 minutes. Add the shellfish and leave to simmer for about 10 - 15 more minutes. Serve in a rustic bowl with toasted ciabatta drizzled with olive oil and chopped garden mint. Don't forget a bowl to put the shells in and a nut cracker for the crab claws.

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