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Shellfish Stew alla Napoletana recipe

A snapshot of the Hub-UK
menu in December 2000
Hub-UK first came into existence back in May 2000. Seems a long time ago now!

Back then the internet was a very different place with much more of an amateur feel to it. In a lot of ways it was a pleasanter and more friendly place to hang out. For those of us interested in food and cooking it was a great opportunity to chat and share ideas with people living in other parts of the world.

It was also a time when everyone involved in cooking, whether they were just a keen amateur, a busy mum, a grandmother with a lifetime of kitchen experience or a professional chef just starting a career in the kitchen or one who was an old hand working at the stove, was happy to share recipes so others could enjoy them.

This recipe was contributed by Shirley Cline.

Shirley was a great inspiration when I first started working on the idea of creating a recipe and cooking web site. Not only did she encourage me but she also supplied a great many recipes and other pieces which are featured throughout the site. Her great achievement was to teach me to cook risotto over the internet!

Although I never had the chance to meet Shirley, or even talk to her, I regarded her as a good friend. It was with great sadness that I learnt that she passed away in Autumn 2004 and that there would be no more emails. I think she will be sadly missed by a lot of people like me to whom she gave such pleasure with the sharing or her recipes. The pleasure my children have had from her recipe for Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint - not to mention the fights for seconds - has been a joy to behold.

Ingredients

12 - 14 small fresh clams
1 quart water
2 Tblsp. cornmeal
12 - 14 fresh mussels
1 cup dry white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smash with a big knife - do not mince
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tblsp. butter
3 Tblsp. olive oil
1/2 cup each of minced carrot and celery
1/2 cup minced bell pepper (we now use either red or  yellow for color)
1/2 lb. white potatoes (peel them and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
2 cups tomatoes (peel and seed), and chop them
3 1/2 cups of homemade fish stock (or you can use bottled clam juice) 
3/4 tsp. saffron threads dissolved in 2 Tblsp. of hot fish stock
8 - 10 Jumbo prawns in shells
1 large or 2 small fresh dungeness crab cooked, cracked and broken into sections
1/2 cup green onions, minced
3 Tblsp. parsley, minced

Method

  • Scrub clams and put in bowl with water and the cornmeal. Soak 2 hours to get rid of grit.  Drain and put aside. Scrub the mussels and remove the beards. Put them aside.
  • Combine the wine, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large pot with a lid and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Add clams and mussels and cover. Turn heat down to medium and steam them covered for about 3 - 7 minutes. After 3 minutes, check the clams and mussels to see that they have opened. If after 7 minutes any have not opened, throw them away.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add carrot, celery, bell pepper and potatoes. Saute gently about 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Take out the clams and mussels and put aside.
  • Strain the broth through cheesecloth (double thickness) and reserve it.
  • Add saffron, stock and reserved broth and simmer about 10 minutes. The vegetables should be very tender.
  • Add the prawns and cover. Simmer until they turn bright pink.
  • Add the crab and heat just about 30 seconds.
  • Add the clams and mussels and heat them through gently.
  • Taste and add salt if needed. Stir in the green onions and remove from the heat.
  • Ladle into a warmed tureen or into warmed soup bowls. Sprinkle with parsley.

Homemade bruschetta is great with this.

Serves 3 to 5 depending on appetites

Shirley Cline

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com