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Spicy Seafood Stew

  • Time preparation 20 minutes
  • cook time 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Serve Serves 4-6

This spicy seafood stew is the ultimate springtime supper. Made with whole king prawns, cod, fresh fennel and jalapeño, it's jam-packed with flavour, while the potatoes make it nice and filling

Recipe taken from That Sounds So Good by Carla Lalli Music (£22, Hardie Grant)
  • 450g shell-on large prawns
  • 2 tsps coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 30g coriander leaves and stems
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 220g small potatoes
  • 450g skinless cod
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Use a pair of shears to snip down the outer, curved side of the prawns, then peel off the shell and tail, reserving them. Put the prawns on a small plate or in a container, cover and chill until ready to use.

Lightly crush the coriander and cumin seeds. Quarter the onion and cut out the root. Heat a medium 2.75 litre saucepan over medium– high. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, the prawn shells and tails, the coriander and cumin and one-quarter of the onion. (Hang on to the other 3 wedges of onion.) Cook, stirring, until the shells are bright red and the spices are popping, 2–3 minutes. Carefully pour in 2 litres water (it will sputter when it hits the pan) and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer gently until the stock is lightly flavoured, about 30 minutes. Strain the stock into a container, discarding solids, and set aside.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the jalapeño and place it in a blender with the coriander, anchovies, 2 garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon oil. Remove the fennel fronds from the bulb and roughly chop half of them (reserve the remainder for serving); add to the blender. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in 250ml cold water and blend on high until smooth. Thinly slice remaining onion quarters and garlic cloves. Halve and thinly slice the fennel bulb. Scrub the potatoes. Heat the remaining oil in a medium pot over medium–high. Add the onion, garlic and fennel, stir and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium, partially cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft and starting to brown, 10–12 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium–low, partially cover the pot and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, 16–18 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the cod into 5 cm pieces. Stir the jalapeño-coriander purée into the stew. Add the cod and prawns and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook very gently just until the fish and prawns are cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Serve the stew topped with a squeeze of lime juice and some reserved fennel fronds.

Ingredients

  • 450g shell-on large prawns
  • 2 tsps coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 30g coriander leaves and stems
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 220g small potatoes
  • 450g skinless cod
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Method

Use a pair of shears to snip down the outer, curved side of the prawns, then peel off the shell and tail, reserving them. Put the prawns on a small plate or in a container, cover and chill until ready to use.

Lightly crush the coriander and cumin seeds. Quarter the onion and cut out the root. Heat a medium 2.75 litre saucepan over medium– high. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, the prawn shells and tails, the coriander and cumin and one-quarter of the onion. (Hang on to the other 3 wedges of onion.) Cook, stirring, until the shells are bright red and the spices are popping, 2–3 minutes. Carefully pour in 2 litres water (it will sputter when it hits the pan) and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer gently until the stock is lightly flavoured, about 30 minutes. Strain the stock into a container, discarding solids, and set aside.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the jalapeño and place it in a blender with the coriander, anchovies, 2 garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon oil. Remove the fennel fronds from the bulb and roughly chop half of them (reserve the remainder for serving); add to the blender. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in 250ml cold water and blend on high until smooth. Thinly slice remaining onion quarters and garlic cloves. Halve and thinly slice the fennel bulb. Scrub the potatoes. Heat the remaining oil in a medium pot over medium–high. Add the onion, garlic and fennel, stir and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium, partially cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft and starting to brown, 10–12 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium–low, partially cover the pot and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, 16–18 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the cod into 5 cm pieces. Stir the jalapeño-coriander purée into the stew. Add the cod and prawns and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook very gently just until the fish and prawns are cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Serve the stew topped with a squeeze of lime juice and some reserved fennel fronds.

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