Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shrimp Stew

Ben threw this dish together in less than 30 minutes while I tickled the keys of my computer, but in my defense, I did make the fish stock. Fish stock is a frugal way to use up otherwise discarded scraps like shrimp shells, fish heads, and lobster bodies. Each time we enjoy one of the above, we pack up the leftovers in plastic and toss them into the freezer. Once we have sufficient material, we combine the remnants with water, onion, celery, mushrooms, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley stems, and a splash of white wine. The easiest way to make stock is in a slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on low. Strain and set aside or freeze.

Clean Fish, based in San Francisco, but available in restaurants and some markets nation wide, are the famous, sustainable brokers who put themselves on the map with Loch Duart salmon. We love Clean Fish not only for their eco-friendly policies but their sweet, succulent Laughing Bird White Caribbean Shrimp.

Mount Eden, a Santa Cruz Mountain winery long supported by my father, makes elegant whites and reds. This evening, we cracked a 2006 estate-bottled chardonnay -- the perfect match for this stew and the Laughing Bird shrimp in particular.

Sit down at your table, pour the wine, ladle the soup, and imagine yourself seaside.

(The above photo was taken at Santiago de Chile's Mercado Central.)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
2 red potatoes, roughly chopped
4 cups fish stock
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley

1. In a large flameproof casserole, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tender.
2. Add tomatoes, potatoes, and fish stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
3. Add shrimp. Cook for 4 minutes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley. Ladle into bowls and serve with garlic rubbed toast, if you like.


  1. great photo and im going to make this tonight! i even have the wine to match!

  2. yeah- this rec def sounds like it is right up your alley! enjoy!