This Sept. 16, 2013 photo shows spicy shrimp and haddock stew in Condord, N.H. Seafood stew is every bit as rich and flavorful as a good chili or meat-based stew, but cooks up in no time. Unlike beef, which needs a long, low simmer to become tender, seafood prefers to be cooked quickly, otherwise it can toughen up. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
When fall weather has us hankering for a bowl of warmth, we tend to think of chili and beef stew.
The trouble with both of those delicious options is time. The best versions of each tend to require long simmers to really develop the great and comforting flavors we’re looking for. That’s fine for a weekend spent in the apple orchard, but hard to squeeze in during the week when kids and errands are competing for our time at the stove.
And that was the inspiration for this delicious seafood stew. It is every bit as rich and flavorful as a good chili or meat-based stew, but cooks up in no time. Unlike beef, which needs a long, low simmer to become tender, seafood prefers to be cooked quickly (otherwise it can toughen up).
There aren’t a whole lot of rules for a recipe such as this. Add or subtract ingredients as you see fit. But do cook the seasonings with the oil and onion first, as described in the recipe. This helps them quickly develop the sort of deep flavors you’d normally get from a much longer cooking time.
And don’t be put off by the “spicy” in the recipe title. The heat is mild and is there mostly to highlight the other flavors in the dish.