Seafood al Cartoccio
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Recipe courtesy of Jonathan Waxman

Seafood al Cartoccio

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
This seafood stew of lobster, bass, squid, Dungeness crab, fennel and a seafood broth flavored with tomatoes, fennel and saffron, is baked in a paper bag.



Special equipment:
a double-lined paper bag
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add the red onion, garlic, half the fennel and 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large Dutch oven over high heat. Cook until the onions have softened, about 3 minutes. Add the Dungeness crab and wine and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, to a large high-sided saute pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil, the remaining fennel, white onion and ginger and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the saffron. Carefully strain the broth directly into the ginger and onion pan, breaking up the crab and reserving for later. Allow the broth to simmer vigorously for about 30 minutes to thicken and reduce.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
  5. Meanwhile, soak a double-lined paper bag in water for about 5 minutes in a clean sink. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Add the striped bass, squid and shrimp to the grill and cook just until seared, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove and place in a large bowl with the lobster, tomatoes and reserved Dungeness crab.
  7. Pour the reduced broth over all the seafood and toss to combine. Add to the soaked paper bag. Roll the top of the bag to seal, creating a pouch, and lay, roll side-down, on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Bring to the table on a platter and cut open with some scissors. Serve with the lemon wedges.