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Saffron-Scented Seafood Stew

serves 2-4

Saffron is the star of this Provençal-inspired seafood stew. Any type of firm-fleshed white fish -- like snapper, cod, grouper or monkfish -- works well here. To make your own stock, just combine a fish carcass and bones with water, white wine, carrots, celery and onion, and simmer for 20 minutes.


1 leek, thinly sliced
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
24 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 pound red snapper, cut into chunks
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup tomato purée
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 cups low-sodium fish broth or fish fumet
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped


prep: 15 minutes
total: 50 minutes


large sauté pan with a cover
small bowl


1. Prep the leek, fennel, garlic and seafood. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, stir in the leek, fennel, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not brown, 8-10 minutes.

2. Add the tomato pureé, wine and broth to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine the saffron with 3 tablespoons of the fish stock or water. Let the saffron sit for 5 minutes to infuse.

4. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the mussels. Cover the pot and allow the mussels to cook for 5 minutes. Next, add the fish and shrimp. Cover again and allow the stew to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring gently once or twice. Stir in the saffron infusion and stir gently to incorporate. Remove any mussels that haven't opened.

5. Sprinkle the fennel fronds over the stew and serve.


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