Anthony Bourdain's Seafood Stew

A week into the new year and I found myself sitting in our warm house with a blank notebook in front of me with a lot of buzzing happening in my head but not a clue what to put down for goals or steps or plans to move on forward. I started by writing down the names of the first three months of the year, January, February, March…with lines below for details of precisely what I will do when. Those lines stayed blank. And now sitting at home is a notebook with January, February, March written out and nothing more. I find myself thinking you know what, that’s OK! You don’t have to face  every thing, all at once. Those ideas and plans that are keeping your mind awake? Let ’em dance for a bit.

And that’s how I practiced self-love . That and by making this stew.

For New Year’s Eve we were late to look for a reservation and by that I mean I was online at 12pm that day looking for respectable 8pm on reservations for that night. So with that, I set out to get a meal together that was a bit more special than your average night and comparable to something I would have eyed on the menu out.

I watched Anthony Bourdain make this recipe with Eric Rippert on a made for YouTube episode of On the Table. 

Honestly how can you resist these two? When Bourdain was in Philly I may or may not have made efforts to cross paths with him…it didn’t work.

Anyway, New Year’s Eve and I was at the fish market grabbing ingredients to what would turn out to be our new favorite meal. The seafood rests in a velvety red-wine sauce that begged to be picked up by a crunchy baguette. I’d imagine the seafood ingredients could be rather forgiving (i.e.: mussels vs. clams, a fish other than cod, etc.) but why mess with perfection?

Anthony Bourdain’s Seafood Stew

(Slightly adapted, original recipe here)

Serves 6

You will need:

1 bottle dry red wine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive
1 green pepper, cut into ½-inch
1 medium onion, cut into ½-
inch pieces
4 large garlic cloves, thinly
1 tablespoon cumin
~1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1lb baby octopus cut into pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (16-ounce) can crushed
2 cups low-sodium, gluten free  vegetable stock
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 lb cod fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 little neck, soaked and scrubbed
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional: Baguette for serving

To Make:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add wine. Simmer until wine is reduced by two-thirds.

Heat oil a large, high sided pan (I used a dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes  Add octopus pieces and cook until juices release, 1-2 minutes. Pour reduced wine into pan; scrape bottom of pan using a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits.  Add cumin and pepper flakes,  tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and enough of the  stock to cover by 1 inch; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and add the potatoes; gently simmer until tender, about 35-45 minutes.

Add cod and clams, and cook, covered, until clams have opened, 10 to 15 minutes (peek after 10, after 15 minutes if any are still tightly shut while the rest are open, discard). Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, with bread alongside. Makes for amazing leftovers.

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