Best of the best seafood stew

Best of the best seafood stew

A simple yet rich prawn-head stock forms the base of this wonderful seafood stew, packed with tomatoes, fennel and peppers, and flavoured with tarragon and orange peel. You can mix up the seafood with whatever’s in season or in your freezer.

Best of the best seafood stew

Read more about about what make this recipe a winner – and browse the rest of our best of the best recipes, including the ultimate lasagne, fish pie and French onion soup.

  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 40 min. Simmering time 45 min

A simple yet rich prawn-head stock forms the base of this wonderful seafood stew, packed with tomatoes, fennel and peppers, and flavoured with tarragon and orange peel. You can mix up the seafood with whatever’s in season or in your freezer.

Read more about about what make this recipe a winner – and browse the rest of our best of the best recipes, including the ultimate lasagne, fish pie and French onion soup.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
400kcals
Fat
15g (3g saturated)
Protein
50g
Carbohydrates
13g (7.4g sugars)
Fibre
3.3g
Salt
3.9g

Ingredients

For the stock

  • 400g shell-on raw sustainable tiger prawns, defrosted if frozen
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 large fennel bulb, finely sliced, green tops and white separated
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 400ml dry white wine
  • 5 tarragon sprigs

For the stew

  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 long red peppers, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 12 vine tomatoes, finely chopped and cores discarded
  • 2 large strips orange peel
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300g sustainable squid rings, defrosted if frozen
  • 300g sustainable mussels, defrosted if frozen
  • 2 sustainable sea bass fillets, each cut into 4 pieces
  • Salt flakes
  • 200g samphire
  • Juice ¼ lemon
  • 3 tarragon sprigs, leaves picked and chopped (optional)
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Method

  1. Begin by making the stock. Peel and remove the heads from the prawns (keep all the heads/shells), then put the peeled prawns in the fridge. Set a large saucepan over a medium heat, add a dash of oil and wait until it’s smoking hot. Add the prawn shells and heads and cook for a few minutes, stirring and bashing the prawn heads regularly to extract as much flavour as possible.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium. Add another dash of oil, then the garlic and fennel seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns. Stir in the green part of the fennel (saving the delicate fronds at the very top for serving) and the carrot. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, then add the wine and deglaze by scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour in 2 litres water, bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface, then add the tarragon. Gently simmer for 45 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl or jug. You’ll need roughly half the stock (800g) for this recipe; the rest can be frozen.
  3. Now for the stew. Wipe out the pan and put it back over a medium heat with another dash of oil. Add the fennel seeds, sizzle for 30 seconds, then add the white part of the fennel, the chilli, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the sliced peppers and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the chopped tomatoes, orange peel strips and bay leaves, cook for 5 more minutes, then pour in the 800g reserved prawn stock. Bring to a gentle simmer, then
    cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the squid rings, mussels and reserved prawns, then cover and cook everything for a final 5 minutes. Meanwhile, brush a large frying pan with oil, ensuring it’s completely coated. Put the sea bass fillets in skin-side down, then put the pan over a medium heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the skin is completely crisp and golden, and the flesh has turned mostly opaque white. Flip the fillets over and take off the heat.
  5. Transfer the cooked sea bass to a board or plate and sprinkle the skin with salt flakes, then return the pan to a high heat. Once smoking hot, add the samphire and cook for a minute, tossing the pan occasionally. Squeeze in the lemon, then remove from the heat. Divide the stew among bowls, then put a little nest of samphire in the centre. Top with the sea bass and sprinkle with the green fennel fronds and chopped tarragon (if using) to finish.

Nutrition

Calories
400kcals
Fat
15g (3g saturated)
Protein
50g
Carbohydrates
13g (7.4g sugars)
Fibre
3.3g
Salt
3.9g

delicious. tips

  1. Make the stock a day ahead and keep it in the fridge.

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