Friday, 4 May 2012

Seafood Stew (with a side of garlic breath)

This will make you happy but smelly
Due to the tiny proportions of my kitchen at home, I always grab the chance to cook in other, more normal sized ones. I love cooking in my parents' kitchen, all that space makes a little cook very excited. I went over to my friend Sophie's house a while ago and was luxuriating in all the space her kitchen had to offer, it was a perfect partnership, she poured the wine, I cooked and we both chatted. I cooked this seafood stew, mainly because I wanted to eat it, but also because the boyfriend isn't a fan of the tentacles and bi-valves of the ocean. Sad but true. So when he's not about I nearly always cook some kind of seafood and aubergines and courgettes. Got to get my fix when I can.

Feeds 2. In a deep frying pan or small casserole dish, gently fry a couple of chopped garlic cloves with a diced fennel bulb in a splash of olive oil (fennel + seafood = happiness) until softened, then add the chopped stalks of a bunch of basil along with a teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds and either chopped fresh, or dried chili. Stir and cook gently for a further 2 mins or so. Add a small glass of white wine and a tin of chopped tomatoes, stir and cook for a few minutes. Now add your seafood, I used some squid cut into rings, some monk fish and couple of prawns (also use mussels, any firm-ish white fish, scallops, anything really). Just plop it on top of the stew, season, cover and leave to cook for as long as it takes for your goodies to cook (no more than ten minutes, more like five). While that's happening, toast a couple of slices of ciabatta for each person, and rub with the cut-side of a halved garlic clove. Serve the stew with the garlic ciabatta, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, chopped basil and a massive blob of garlic mayo (pulverise a couple of peeled cloves of garlic with a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar, and add a little lemon zest, stir in a few tbsp of mayo, lovely).

You will smell  of garlic but you will also be very happy. Eat with a girlfriend then return home to The Boyfriend who avoids you all night, not only because you stink of garlic but because you've been scoffing things with tentacles.

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