Chef Kaylah Thomas
Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop
From her location in Anchorage, Alaska, Chef Thomas has ready access to a variety of local fish and shellfish, but many of these species are available nationwide. Combining them in a hearty, tomato-based seafood stew makes for a cozy meal during Lent or any chilly day. Fennel, tarragon and dill add complementary flavor notes to the dish.
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. sliced garlic
1 cup diced white onion
1½ cups sliced fennel bulbs
1 cup sliced celery
2 tsp. fresh or dried dill week
1 tsp. fresh or dried tarragon
½ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
½ tsp. cracked black peppercorns
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 can (28 ounces) crushed or diced tomatoes in juice (reserve juice)
4 cups fish stock or water
½ cup red wine
1 lb. each fresh or frozen Alaska crab, salmon, pollock and halibut (4 lb. total)
Chopped fresh parsley and fennel fronds, for garnish
- Heat olive oil in heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery and fennel; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add dill, tarragon, red pepper flakes and pepper; saute 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste; cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, fish stock and wine; simmer 7 to 10 minutes.
- Rinse any ice glaze from frozen seafood under cold water. (No need to thaw the seafood.) Turn off heat and add seafood to stock liquid, skin-side down. Return heat to a simmer. Once simmering, cover pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes if the seafood is frozen or 2 minutes if fresh or already thawed.
- Turn off heat and let seafood rest for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley and fennel fronds.
Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute