Romesco Seafood Stew

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
Prep:
30 min
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Romesco Sauce:
  • 2 dried pasilla or red New Mexico chile peppers or 1 ancho chile pepper, stemmed and seeded
  • Water or chicken stock, to cover
  • 1/4 cup dry Marcona almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked sweet paprika
  • 4 roasted piquillo peppers packed in water, drained well
  • 2 slices (3/4-to-1-inch thick) stale good-quality white bread, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or made into a paste
  • 1 large or 2 medium very ripe tomatoes, grated on a box grater
  • Splash of sherry vinegar (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • Stew:
  • 1/4 cup EVOO, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 pounds small white or yellow potatoes, chopped or quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 small stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small bundle fresh parsley, tied with kitchen string
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken or seafood stock
  • Seafood:
  • 24 small mussels or clams, scrubbed
  • 12 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • EVOO, for drizzling
  • 4 slices Serrano ham
  • 4 thick center-cut pieces cod or other sustainable white fish
  • Sliced crusty bread, for serving
  • Gremolata, recipe follows
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • Gremolata:
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 1 anchovy fillet or anchovy in hot pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • Zest of 1 lemon
Directions
Seafood:
  • For the romesco sauce: Toast the chile peppers in a small pot over medium heat, pressing them flat with a metal spatula and turning occasionally. Add enough water or stock to cover and simmer until the chiles are tender. Transfer the chiles to a food processor with a splash of the cooking liquid. Add the almonds, hazelnuts, paprika, piquillos, bread, garlic, tomato, vinegar and some salt and pepper. Turn the processor on and add the EVOO in a slow, steady stream until a thick, almost smooth sauce forms.

  • For the stew: Heat the EVOO in a pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned, then add the celery, bay leaf, onions and parsley bundle and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze with the wine, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Stir in the stock and romesco sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender.

  • For the seafood: Add the mussels and shrimp to the stew and cook, covered, until the mussels open and the shrimp are firm and opaque. Discard any unopened shells.

  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Heat a drizzle of EVOO in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Wrap the ham around the fish fillets, then add to the skillet and cook until crisp on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the fish rest in the skillet. Meanwhile, char the bread in the oven.

  • Divide the stew among shallow bowls. Place a piece of fish in the center and top with a spoonful of Gremolata. Rub the charred bread with the cut sides of the garlic clove and drizzle with EVOO; serve on the side.

  • Cook's Notes: You can make extra romesco sauce and freeze it. Use it as a base for soup or for topping any grilled or roasted meat or seafood.

  • The stew, without the seafood, can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium heat.

Gremolata:
  • Pile the parsley, thyme, anchovy, garlic and lemon zest on a cutting board and roughly chop together until well combined.


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