{date night dinner} Rustic Seafood Stew

5 | June 16, 2011

There are just those nights that we throw the Mia in bed a little early and treat ourselves to a at home date night. This usually means a good bottle of wine, music and a dinner that suits an adult pallet rather than our two year old’s. Of course, I wasn’t at all surprised that she ate the leftovers the next day. Cooking seafood sometimes can be a little overwhelming for those of us that didn’t grow up around it but trust me this stew is very simple to make and the taste will knock your socks off. Just what you want on a date night, right?

Rustic Seafood Stew serves 6 you’ll happily have leftovers

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (about 6″)
  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 11/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 11/2 cups dry white wine (I use a dry Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 quart seafood stock
  • 1/2 cup clam juice
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes, organic if possible
  • 1 Tbs fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbs fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled deveined
  • 1 pound cod, or other white fish
  • 1 pound mussels
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • salt and pepper

When you purchase mussels, make sure they are all closed. Don’t buy any that are open. Buy them the same day as you plan to cook and store in the fridge in a bowl of ice. When you are ready to start the stew clean the mussels by removing any outside “beard” by pulling along the side of the mussel. (My fishmonger cleans them but sometimes I will find one with a beard still attached. In the same bowl as you are storing the mussels in, cover the mussels with water and set aside until needed. This will purge any sand or dirt inside the mussels. It all sounds a little daunting but trust me it’s very simple.

Finely chop the garlic and shallots. I was out of all of my pretty cutting boards. Sorry for the ugly one. Just keeping it real here. Sometimes a good meal can’t wait for the dishes to be done. wink wink

Break the lemongrass stalk in half and slice it down the middle of the shaft.

Dice the new potatoes in 2 inch pieces. Heat oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven and add the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, potatoes, and salt. Saute on medium heat for 15 minutes until the potatoes have softened.

Add the wine while scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the stock, clam juice, and tomatoes and herbs. Stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer uncovered. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

Meanwhile, peel and devein the shrimp and cube the cod into 2 inch pieces. I like to cut the shrimp in half following the vein. They’re thin but make a nice spiral shape when cooked. Just my preference.

Add cod, shrimp, and mussels. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover. Let sit covered for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the lemongrass and discard. Add the lemon zest and stir. The mussels should be opened and the shrimp and fish cooked through. Discard any mussels that do not open. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It’s so gorgeous! Serve with sourdough toasted with a good olive oil. Thanks to a recent care package from my best friend in San Francisco I used a beautiful oil form The Olive. It was wonderful! Hope you enjoy your date night with this impressive yet simple one pot meal!


  • carrie

    my mother used to make something similar for us growing up. She called it “chipino”. It looks pretty similar, but was in more of a red sauce. Yours looks just as tasty though ;)

    • In Sock Monkey Slippers

      Thanks! Your mother was right. Cioppino (sounds like Chipino) is seafood stew that originated in San Francisco in the 1800 with the fisherman. A true Cioppino has clams in it, something that I can hardly ever get in the middle of Texas! So sad I know. It is also known truley for being a shelfish stew, and you are right, a tomato based broth. Since I added fish and potatoes I had a hard time calling this a true Cioppino so I settled on Seafood Stew. :) BTW, I’m jealous that you got chioppino growing up!

  • Heather M

    Weird question – I know – but I have had some bad experiences with finding good clam juice. Is there a brand that you can recommend?

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