With spring finally in the air, chef John Critchley’s shellfish stew with coconut and lime is great for this time of year. The coconut milk and lime keep it light, but it still has a rich and creamy broth. For all you seafood wary cooks, this isn’t a difficult recipe to make, so it’s good for taking the plunge into cooking with shellfish. The flavors are great and it’s a dish that will definitely impress your friends.
Shellfish Stew with Coconut and lime (Serves 4)
Ingredients for the sauce:
1 cup dry white wine
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 limes, juiced
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Instructions for the sauce:
1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat add white wine, shallots, garlic and salt and reduce.
2. When almost dry, add the lime juice and reduce by half.
3. Add the coconut milk and heavy cream and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half.
4. Adjust seasoning with salt and reserve for the shellfish.
Ingredients for the stew:
1/2 lb. calamari tubes and tentacles, cut tubes in 1/2 inch rings
8 jumbo fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail off if you prefer
8 littleneck clams scrubbed and free of sand
16 mussels, cleaned
1/2 cup scallions, sliced (or spring onion, garlic, ramps, etc.)
Pinch of chili threads (which can be found in most Asian markets)
Water as needed
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, room temperature
1. In a clean saucepot with a lid, place the clams with 3 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
2. Simmer covered until the clams just open (about 3-5 minutes).
3. Add mussels and simmer another 2 minutes until opened.
4. Remove shellfish from pan and add the sauce from recipe above and bring to just barely a simmer.
5. Add calamari and shrimp and cook slowly for 4 minutes (cooking the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side).
6. Add the shellfish back to the pan and the last tablespoon of butter.
7. Warm thoroughly without boiling (boiling will make your calamari as tender as a rubber band).
8. Arrange in a large bowl and garnish with the scallions and chili threads.