This is an adaptation of a recipe by British chef, Rick Stein. It is from his cookbook, Fruits of the Sea. We have made this before and have had trouble not getting the various seafoods over cooked so we decided to just use scallops and shrimp cooked at the last minute. The original recipe is very fancy with a lot of discussion about how you have to cut everything just so, lots of different kinds of fish and shellfish, and using white wine and Pernod. We tried to make our simpler by merely cutting things so they would cook evenly. John did go to the bother of making a fish stock with the shrimp shells we have been saving in the freezer.
The stew is laborious to make with lots of chopping of fennel, celery, fennel fronds, tomatoes, onions, leeks, garlic, thyme, and potatoes. In fact, it is too much work for the result. Even though we did not overcook the seafood, I found the licorice flavor of the fennel and Pernod overtook everything. I suggested if we make it again that we not include those two items but John likes the licorice taste so I guess we just won’t be making it again.
On Saturday we are supposed to be taking the broth and making a Vietnamese sweet and sour shrimp soup but I really do not see how we are going to be able to get around the anise flavor. Maybe I will just make a sandwich for me.