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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 10 min
set aside 2 hours before serving

Cook Time: 45 min

Servings: 8

Recipe By: Brooke Dojny

From:  Dishing Up Maine
Used with permission of Storey Publishing

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

To be served at Cod End Cookhouse, a seafood dish has to live up to the lofty expectations of longtime owner Anne Miller. Locally caught fish help this dazzling Mediterranean-style stew make the grade.

1/2 cup olive oil
4  leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped
2  medium-sized yellow or green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2  celery ribs, thinly sliced
3  garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 to 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
5 cups water
2 cups dry white wine
1  can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes with juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for sprinkling
24  clams, scrubbed
24  mussels, scrubbed (debearded if necessary)
2 1/2 pounds lean white fish, cut into large chunks (haddock, cod, pollock, or a combination)
Heat the oil in a very large soup pot. Add the leeks, bell peppers, celery, and garlic and cook over medium heat until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.

Add the fennel seed, red pepper flakes, turmeric, and thyme and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add the water, wine, tomatoes, and parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes to blend flavors. The base can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before proceeding.)

Add the clams and mussels to the stew base and cook gently until the shells begin to open, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the fish and simmer until it is cooked through and the mollusk shells are completely open, about 5 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Reheat if necessary. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.
Chef Suggestions
To debeard mussels, pull out the dark threads that protrude from the shell. Do this just before cooking; mussels die when debearded. Use the larger amount of pepper flakes if you like things spicier.

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