Magical evenings call for magical meals. With the winter chill settling in for a stay, I was looking for a warm, soul-satisfying meal to make for special company last evening. A soothing dish of seafood stew, chock full of clams, shrimp and crabmeat, was just the ticket for the evening. The spice of the tomato-infused clam broth combined with the creaminess of the crab, shrimp and clams surely warmed the soul (and perhaps the heart :-)). This dish comes together in a snap. (Do ahead hint: You can make the broth in advance and add the seafood just minutes before serving.) Allow the broth to simmer for awhile to allow for the wonderful flavors to mingle. Serve alongside some toasted garlic-rubbed crostini and you have a wonderfully satisfying one dish delight to warm on even the coldest of evenings. Buon appetito….
Mediterranean Shrimp, Clam and Crab Stew
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with puree
2 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
1 bay leaf
2 dozen littleneck clams, rinsed and drained
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled but with tails intact
1 8 ounce can crabmeat, rinsed and picked over for shells
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy large pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium heat.
2. Add the chopped onion, diced garlic, oregano and saute until the onion is soft, about 5-8 minutes.
3. Add the white wine and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for a minute.
4. Add the crushed tomatoes with their puree, the clam juice and the bay leaf. Increase heat to a boil and simmer until a bit thickened, about 20 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
6. Add littleneck clams and simmer just until opened, about 5-10 minutes. Immediately remove the opened clams to a separate dish as they open and set aside. Discard any clams that do not open.
7. Add in the shrimp and crabmeat. Lower heat to low and simmer for another few minutes just until shrimp are opaque in the center. Be careful not to overcook.
8. Stir in the chopped basil. Remove the bay leaf.
9. Add the reserved clams and any accumulated juices to the pot and stir.
10. Adjust seasoning and serve with toasted crostini. Enjoy!