12 March 2013

Seafood Stew & Garlic Bread

This stew can look quite spectacular & believe it or not it can be rustled up from start to finish in less than half an hour.  It is adapted, just a tad, from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals & if you felt it a must to cook by the timer you may be able to to do it in 15 if you were very, very organised.  I cook to relax so tearing around the kitchen to meet a 15 minute deadline is the antithesis of why I cook. For  me a quiet half an hour or so in the kitchen is how I like to unwind after a long day.

I am loving this book, it is great inspiration for week night dinners knowing that you can have something new & tasty on the table pretty quick smart.  I like how there are no surprises, I annoy myself when I find something I really want for dinner & I seem to have missed reading the one step that requires hours, whether marinating, chilling or simmering & would mean dinner at midnight rather than 7! Why is it that one step I seem to miss??  So knowing that a fresh, tasty dinner will be on the table in under half an hour work for me.  These are also healthier than the norm, & with my recent stint of healthy living I love that this book does include the calories.  It really does highlight that with just a few little tweaks really good food does not need to be calorie laden.  It fits in with the kind of balance I like to have, a little of everything in moderation.

This seafood stew would have looked even more spectacular with a couple of unshelled prawns, but they were all sold out.  A few shell free jumbo prawns delivered the prawn component.  The treat or indulgence of this dish is some crispy garlic bread on the side to mop up all the sauce. It is a little less calorie laden than the norm, a little olive oil replacing all that butter but delivering garlicky, crispy & golden garlic bread.  On the sauce if you can give it a little more time I would, I find any rich tomato sauce benefits from a little slow & low cooking to allow the flavours to develop.

Seafood Stew with Garlic Bread, adapted slightly from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals

Serves 4

For the Garlic bread
1 grainy roll per person
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp oregano leaves
For the Seafood Stew
1 bulb of fennel, roughly chopped
4 anchovy fillets
4 spring onions, trimmed & roughly chopped
1 fresh red chilli, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
125ml chicken stock
700g passata
350ml boiling water
1 small bunch of fresh basil
400g terakihi or other white fish
16 mussels* scrubbed, clean and debearded
8 large raw prawns, deveined

*I used NZ green lipped mussels which are quite large, so if using smaller mussels feel free to toss in a few more.
For the Sauce
1 clove of garlic
1 pinch of saffron
3 heaped tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt
½ a lemon

Salt & pepper


Pre heat the oven to 220C / 420F

To make the garlic bread cut deep crisscrosses in each roll.  In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, garlic & herbs & then rub a little in to each roll. Season with a little salt & pepper & place in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden & crisp.

For the sauce place the fennel, anchovies, spring onions & chilli into a food processor & blitz to a puree.  Heat a casserole dish or large pot over a medium high heat & add the olive oil.  Add the puree & saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic & the chicken stock & cook for a moment or 2. Pour in the passata & the water & stir.  Throw in the basil leaves & season with salt & pepper.

To prepare the fish cut each fillet in to even sized pieces, just a little bigger than bite sized.  Add all the seafood to the sauce, place on the lid & bring to a boil for just a few minutes until the seafood is cooked through.

For the saffron yoghurt place the garlic on a pestle & mortar with a pinch of salt & the saffron & give it a good bashing.  Add the yoghurt & lemon juice & muddle it all well together.  Set aside until you are ready to serve.

To serve, first discard any mussels that have not opened & then season to taste.  Scatter over a few basil leaves & a few dollops of the saffron yoghurt & serve with the garlic bread.

The beauty of this dish is that it feels like quite a decadent treat with all that fresh seafood, but in actual fact it is packed full of all that is good for you. The tomato sauce is made all the more fragrant with the basil, lending its almost citrusy fragrance to complement the seafood. And the piece de resistance that crunchy herby garlic bread, made all the lighter with just a little olive oil rather than butter, so it could even be argued that it is also good for you!

If you like this you might like this Mediterranean Seafood
One year ago Raw Power Salad
Two years ago A Glut of Tomatoes



  1. I love the garlic bread flower. I've never seen those before. It's very lovely and I guess a good way to get lots of flavour deep into the bread.

    1. Thanks...it's such a great version of garlic bread :) All the deliciousness but a few less calories :)

  2. How wonderful! Not only do I just love seafood stew but gosh done in less than 30 minutes? I am so buying this book! It looks divine!

    1. Thanks Jamie, I reckon it would be even better if time to leave the sauce a little longer, sauces always better with a little longer.

  3. So glad you posted this - I just bought 15 minute meals last weekend. Funny I felt like a foodie cheat so I just had to buy an obscure cheese book at the same time. Excellent to hear that it's working as an inspiration for mid-week dinners - to many takeaways of late!

    1. Hi Lucy, I love it, it's great for speedy dinners & I have always actually like Jamie's food, from way back when he was the Naked Chef, it really is good food. I've tried quite a few recipes & they have all been great...& fast!


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