I was recently given the opportunity to test drive a recipe from a new cook book. Adie McClelland’s first Black Dog Cottage Cookbook was published in 2009 and her second book, sensibly titled The Second Black Dog Cottage Cookbook was released in August. She’s a well travelled foodie and it shows through her recipes. Her style of cooking is much like mine – unfussy and easy but with a Mediterranean angle. I think she would forgive me my casual cooking style.
The Second Black Dog Cottage Cook Book has just been released throughout New Zealand. For more information please visit Phantom House Books www.phantomhouse.com or their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/BlackDogCottageCookbook.
I wanted to make the All-In-One Seafood Stew because it’s what I would order if I were dining out.
This recipe requires 10 tomatoes, which for a long time were unbelievably expensive and probably not very good. They’re starting to come down in price now so it was time to tackle this stew.
After a quick scan of the recipe, I identified just one unknown ingredient: passata. Passata is cooked tomato concentrate and lies somewhere between tomato paste and tomato puree. Since passata comes in large jars which need to be used within a week or two after opening, I’m sure you can substitute it for a little tomato paste instead of buying a whole jar for this recipe.
Stews are very forgiving and Adie’s introduction to this recipe specifically says “You can make it with any seafood or fish available”. This is exactly how I cook, very rarely following any recipe to the letter so I’m glad that I get permission to experiment. In my version, I used scallops, tarakihi fillets, prawns and squid. Tarakihi is versatile, medium, white fish which can be eaten just about any way you would eat fish. Baked, barbecued, in a curry, fried, poached, marinated, in a soup or even raw. I upped the amount of passata as my early spring tomatoes were a little lacking in ooomph. I’m sure mid summer tomatoes would be perfect in this stew. I also had 2 baby leeks from my CSA delivery so I substituted 6 shallots for 2 baby leeks and 1 onion.
If you’re cooking for friends and want to make part of this dish ahead of time, I would recommend completing step 1 to 3. Steps 4 to 6 can be done with a glass of wine in hand and once your guests have arrived. I would be so bold as to claim this stew is better the next day.
All-In-One Seafood Stew
From The Second Black Dog Cottage Cook Book
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 red chillies, seeded, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
- 10 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
- 1 good tbsp passata
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup risoni (orzo) pasta
- A large Grouper fillet or a 2 swordfish steaks, 400g (14 ounces), cut into chunks
- 8 mussels, 500g (1 pound) , scrubbed, de-bearded, steamed for 5 – 8 minutes
- 1 whole squid, 230g (half a pound), cleaned, sliced lengthways, not rings
- 10 prawns, tails on, heads off
- Aioli to serve (optional)
- Toasted sourdough
- Preheat oven to 200ºC/390°F.
- Heat oil in a large ovenproof casserole over medium heat, add shallots and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until softened. Add garlic, chilli and rosemary. Cook for a further minute.
- Add the tomatoes and passata, cook to soften and release juices. Add wine and stock, simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add pasta and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Add seafood, bury everything you can cover, and place in oven for 6 – 10 minutes.
- Garnish with rosemary leaves, a dollop of aioli and toasted sourdough.