" Summer Rental" Seafood n' Eat it Stew

Like mom used to say, "an empty belly is like an empty gas tank." (Or something like that.) This hearty stew will definitely fill you up, and the seafood makes it a great summer dish!

You will need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups dry white wine or vermouth
  • 2 twelve oz bottles clam juice
  • 2 whole bay leafs
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 10 whole cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups tomatoes, chopped (or one 28 oz can)
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs of assorted shellfish and white fleshed fish, ie., shrimp, lobster, red snapper, halibut, scallops, sea bass, clams, mussels, etc.
  • Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 weeks worth of vacation
  • 1 weeks worth of traveler's checks
  • 1 car full of screaming kids

Directions:

  1. See the seafood: Shell shrimp and reserve shells, scrub clams and mussels, cut lobster and fish into large chunks.
  2. Make the broth: In a large, heavy saucepan or pot, combine the water, wine, clam juice, bay leaf and peppercorns with half of the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and any reserved shrimp shells. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer at least 30 minutes. Strain, discard solids and reserve the stock.
  3. Make the stew: Using the same pot, heat the olive oil and add the remaining onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, zest, cayenne and basil and simmer 20 minutes. Add the reserved stock to the tomato base and return to a boil. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  4. If using lobster, mussels, clams or crab, add these first and simmer 3 minutes, removing the clams and mussels as they open.
  5. Add the remaining dish, scallops or shrimp and simmer 5 more minutes, until just cooked through.
  6. N' eat it: Ladle into bowls, top with clams and mussels and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with hot slices or garlic toast.

Relaxing vacation tip: Eat as quickly as is humanly possible, pile the dishes in the sink and get on the next activity of your vacation itinerary. (Probably best not to dwell on the fact that when the vacation's over, you'll be broke, exhausted and really need a vacation)



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