Spanish Style Mixed Stew

How to make a Spanish Style Mixed Stew.

INGREDIENTS: Serves 6-8

  • 20 medium shrimp, peeled (reserve the shells for broth)
  • ¾ lb calamari, cut in rings (optional), patted dry
  • ¾ lb swordfish, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¾ lb cod, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¾ lb rock fish, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 12 clams
  • 12 mussels
  • 1 Spanish chorizo (about 8 oz.), sliced into thin rounds
  • 8-10 chicken wings (preferably the flat two bone segment)
  • 3 red bell peppers, separate uses
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 small red hot pepper, diced fine
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 1 small bottle clam juice
  • 24 oz seafood stock
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pimenton (Spanish paprika)
  • 1 tsp Mediterranean oregano
  • 1 Tbs fresh cilantro or flat-leafed parsley, for garnish
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges

METHOD:

  1. Peel the shrimp and add shells to a medium pot with ½ cup of water or Spanish white wine and ½ cup dry sherry.
  2. Add the clam juice and bring the pot to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the shrimp shells turn pink.
  4. Strain out the solids and reserve.
  5. Reserve the raw shrimp in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
  6. Discard the shells and reserve the liquid in the refrigerator.
  7. You may keep the broth in the pot as you will be using both the pot and broth again later.
  8. Toast and grind the saffron to a powder and add it to the warm shrimp/clam broth.
  9. You will be using this pot again later so keep the shrimp broth in the same pot.
  10. Cut two of the red bell peppers in half and remove the veins and seeds.
  11. The third bell pepper is reserved to add at the end of the cooking.
  12. Broil the halves, two inches from the heating element, for 10-15 minutes and then put them in a plastic bag.
  13. This steams the peppers and make the skin easier to remove.
  14. Remove the skin and chop the peppers coarsely.
  15. Reserve the peppers in a bowl.
  16. Dice the remaining bell pepper coarsely and reserve separately.
  17. Blanch the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for one minute.
  18. Cool and remove the skin.
  19. Cut the tomatoes along the equator and remove the seeds to a sieve placed over a medium bowl.
  20. Press the jelly through the sieve and discard the seeds.
  21. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and put them in the bowl with the jelly.
  22. Reserve.
  23. Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven and sauté the chorizo for a few minutes until well browned. 
  24. Remove the chorizo to the bowl of the roasted red peppers and set aside.
  25. Fry the chicken wings until well browned and reserve with the chorizo.
  26. Lightly stir fry the celery.
  27. Remove and reserve with the chorizo.
  28. Add the onions and salt to a pot and sauté at medium high heat for 10 minutes until starting to brown.
  29. Use the moisture released by the onions to deglaze the pot.
  30. You may also add a splash of sherry, if that is not enough.
  31. Pull the onions to the sides of the pot and add the garlic and diced red hot pepper.
  32. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
  33. Add the tomato, paprika and oregano to the onion mix, reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for at least 10-20 minutes, stirring frequently to preventing the sofrito from sticking and scorching.
  34. If necessary, add a little Spanish white wine or sherry to places where the sofrito is sticking so that it will not burn.
  35. When the sofrito has darkened, remove it to a standing blender and add one cup of the fish stock.
  36. Do not use the shrimp/clam broth to the pot at this time.
  37. Process until smooth and return the sofrito to the pot.
  38. Use some more of the fish stock to rinse out the blender jar.
  39. Add the roasted red peppers, chorizo, chicken and celery to the pot and stir in the remaining fish stock.
  40. You can use one cup of a 32 oz container of fish stock for the rice if you wish.
  41. Add the swordfish, cod and rock fish to the pot and bring to a boil.
  42. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  43. While the soup is simmering, add the shellfish to the pot of reserved shrimp/clam broth and bring it to a boil.
  44. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until all of the shellfish have opened, for about 8-10 minutes.
  45. Discard any shells that have failed to open.
  46. Transfer the shell fish to the Dutch oven.
  47. If you wish to reduce the volume of the shell fish, you can tear away one side of each shell at this time.
  48. Strain the shrimp/clam broth, through a fine meshed sieve, into the Dutch oven.
  49. Stir in the shrimp, calamari and the zucchini.
  50. Remove the pot from the heat, cover the pot, and let the stew rest for 10 minutes.
  51. The heat of the pot, will cook, but not overcook the shrimp and calamari.
  52. Garnish with the reserved (raw) red bell peppers and the fresh cilantro or parsley.
  53. Serve the stew in the Dutch oven, with lemon wedges on the side and accompanied with rice.
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