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Friday, May 9, 2014

Rich Seafood Stew

I'm trying to use up everything in the freezer/pantry in a timely manner after reading a blog reminding me earlier this week!
As you know, I canned/froze a ton of tomatoes/sauce when we left Klamath Falls last year. I also have a lot of frozen chicken stock/turkey stock from this past Fall.
The Lenten Fat Free Vegan (Engine 2) Diet was an eye-opener- I lost  12 lobs. of weight and felt a lot better by eating fat free vegan for 6 weeks. I've added some meat (very little) and some seafood to my diet, but I am continuing to keep the fat and processed foods at a bare minimum for both of us! We are also watching the grains...neither of us are gluten sensitive, but we are making sure that our choices are all good choices!
We are eating meatless meals a couple of times a week and Fridays are now seafood/meatless only days- it's not required of Catholics anymore year round- but it's good for our health and for my creativity in cooking!
I decided to make a delicious-sounding Seafood Stew for dinner tonight, with the basic recipe from a fantastic blog I read on a regular basis, An Oregon Cottage. I know I've referenced this fantastic blog before for many craft and food ideas.....but Jami had this wonderful recipe that I could not resist!
I made some of my own changes but the basic recipe is fantastic!
I stopped by Trader Joe's to find some scallops, since Kevin does not like fish ...and all I had was some shrimp- but Trader Joe's only had scallops in a wierd cream sauce or a 'Seafood Mix' that included calamari. Now, I would eat that all in a flash, but Kevin doesn't like calamari, either. His nickname in the family by the way, (as is my brother in law, Jim Regan's nickname) is "Picky-Fart-Suey". You will have to ask my Mom to tell the story...anyhow, I got a half pound of tiny fresh scallops at a local grocery store so I was all set for this seafood stew! You can also use only fish, if you like. It is a VERY versatile stew!
I first made a homemade Roman Arabbiata sauce...5 cloves of garlic, chopped, added to 2 teaspoons of red chili flakes and added to 1 tablespoon of good olive oil and 1 tablespoon of salt. Cook over medium heat in a cast iron pan (or, whatever pan you have) until it smells fantastic and then add 1 tsp. of each basil, oregano and garlic powder. Cook for another 30 seconds. Then, add 1 gallon bag of frozen tomato quarters (peeled) or 1 quart of canned tomatoes and 1 small can of diced green chilis...NOT diced jalapenos, and stir. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes and cool.
In another pan, cook 1 rough chopped peeled onion, 1/2 green and 1/2 red bell pepper, 2 stalks of celery, cleaned and chopped and 2 chopped cloves of garlic in 1 teaspoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add 2 large, peeled, and diced russet potatoes to the mix for 5 minutes, stirring all the while. Scoop the entire batch of veggies into the Arabbiata sauce and turn to medium heat. Cook until the potatoes are tender; about 20 minutes. Add 1 cup of either seafood stock, clam juice, or chicken stock if you don't have anything seafoody as stock! Cook for 5 more minutes and then add 1 lb of seafood or fish chunks. Cook for 5 minutes. Top with 1/4 cup of chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley. Don't ruin this with cheese! Served in bowls with some bread or like us, leftover broiled Texas Toast!
This make enough for 4 people or 2 people for dinner and 2 more lunches!
Holy Smokes, this was HOT and spicy, but flavorful and incredibly delicious!

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