Quick and Easy Creamy Seafood Stew

Much as I want to forge ahead with posting recipes from the birthday banquet, I really should finish up the Cupboard Challenge recipes first.  After all, one purpose of this blog is to help me practice discipline, to learn to see one project through before flitting off to another 😉

This seafood stew, from day eight of the challenge, used up some odds ‘n’ sods of fishy things from the freezer – a hot-smoked salmon fillet, a handful of king prawns and a bake-in-the-bag cod thing bought by Barn on an occasion when he’d been left to fend for himself.  You can easily amend the recipe according to what you have available.

To serve two

Ingredients
A glug of olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
A small portion of frozen peas
A really good slug of white wine. In fact, make it two.
300ml chicken stock (or even better, fish stock)
2 teaspoons cornflour, mixed to a paste with cold water
Approx. 400g mixed seafood (if frozen, defrosted; if fillets or large pieces, cut into chunks)
Approx. 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
A pinch of fresh thyme leaves
About half a tub of crème fraîche
Lots of freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of sea salt
Music

Ready to make an easy, satisfying dinner?  Ok then, let’s get cracking…

Carrot, celery, onionHeat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion, carrot and celery on a low heat, for 10-15 minutes, until soft but not brown.

GarlicAdd the crushed garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Frosty peas

Toss in the frozen peas.  They don’t have to be as frosty as these ones.White wineGlug in the wine and simmer on a high heat until reduced to about half.

Pour in the stock, add the cornflour mix, turn up the heat slightly and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes, until sauce has thickened.

SeafoodSeason, then add the seafood…

Chopped herbs…and thyme, and most of the parsley.

creme fraicheSimmer for a few more minutes, until fish is piping hot, then stir in the crème fraîche.

Creamy Seafood StewHeat gently for a another minute, just to bring the temperature back up, then scatter with the remaining parsley.  Add more black pepper.  Serve with buttered, crusty bread.
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The food week that was – 23/02/15

Happy St. David’s Day people of Wales!

Each year, this day brings back abundant memories of being at primary school in a tiny Welsh village …in particular, being issued with a choice of leek or daffodil to wear for the day.  The older kids always went with a leek, preferably one so large it had to be worn cross-wise on the chest, with a phalanx of pins required to keep it there.  This would then be nibbled and gnawed throughout the day, much to the chagrin of the head teacher, who felt it to be utterly disrespectful to the patron saint.  End of day prayers and gratitudes would be chanted by around 20 children sporting leek roots on their now out of shape jumpers.

Back to modern times, no raw leeks were consumed this week.  The following dishes were though:

Roast pork shoulderMonday: Most people have a Sunday roast but because we were too busy lazy to cook it on Sunday, we had a Monday roast instead.

Pork shoulder with a honey, rosemary and garlic glaze,  braised red cabbage with apple and cranberries, roast potatoes, steamed carrots, Petit Man’s awesome cauliflower cheese with leeks, and gravy that was perked up with a splash of red wine.  Right up there in the yumminess charts.

Brisket wrapsTuesday: The previous night we’d taken some pulled brisket from the freezer with no plan as to what to do with it.  When dinner time came all of us were tired and can’t-be-botheredish, so once again we trod the path of least resistance and went for wraps made thusly:

Fry up onion, garlic and strips of green peppers; add shredded beef and heat thoroughly.  Generously spread a tortilla wrap (in this case herb and garlic ones) with chilli ketchup and top with grated cheese (we used a mix of Monterey Jack, mozzarella and extra mature farmhouse cheddar – but that’s just because it was what we had in the fridge!).  Grill until cheese has melted.  Watch the tortilla edges very carefully – they wait ’til they think you’re not looking then hurriedly burn themselves.  Remove from grill, add beef and veg, top with soured cream and fire-roasted chillies, roll, cut and eat.  Simples.Fish and chipsWednesday: Using my unholy influence* upon Barn, I created in him a desire for fish ‘n’ chips that was so strong he was unable to resist stopping off on the way back from the gym to pick some up.  Mwahahaha!

The batter on the fish was superb – crispy, fresh and not harbouring oil wells.  The chips were top notch and the mushy peas finished it off nicely.  Eaten straight from the paper watching trash TV this was a truly satisfying meal.

* Until now you’ve probably been blissfully unaware that I am, apparently, the anti-Christ.  I have been publicly denounced as such by a someone ‘in the know’.  I’ll tell you the story if you ask me to ;-).

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