Emily has written on food & travel for publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle. She also wrote The Food Lover’s Guide to Florence, Top Chef Quickfire and How to Cook Like a Top Chef. She lives in Dallas with her two children and her husband
INGREDIENTS - 6 servings
3 Tablespoons Olive oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter Unsalted
1 onion(s) small, diced
1 leek(s) light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb(s) small, diced, frond reserved
4 Cloves garlic 3 cloves minced , one clove halved
Teaspoon red pepper flakes
Cup dry white wine Dry
2 Cups chicken stock plus 2 cups Water
1 Tablespoon tarragon chopped
3 orange zest wide strips
1 Pinch saffron threads
black pepper freshly ground
1 lb clams scrubbed
1 lb halibut or any other white firm fish. can use fillet for ease, or whole fish for taste
1 lb mussels scrubbed
4 Whole canned tomatoes with the juices
In a large heavy stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter together. Add the onion, leek, fennel, garlic, and pepper flakes, setting aside the fennel fronds for later use. Saute the vegetables until softened, about 6 minutes.
Add the wine and raise the heat to cook most of it off. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, water, tarragon, orange zest, and saffron threads, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a simmer;
lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until the flavors have melded, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the bread slices and rub them with the garlic halves. Set aside.
Add the clams, cover and cook for five more minutes. Add the fish, mussels, and shrimp and continue cooking over low heat, tasting to adjust the seasoning, for about 10 minutes longer. Serve in shallow soup bowls, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon minced fennel frond, placing a piece of garlic toast on each bowl.
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