Seafood San Carlos
For New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, your birthday, or whenever the time you need a reason to celebrate!
Nothing could be further from chili’s landlocked traditions than this seafood stew. Nonetheless, the flavor is unmistakably that of chili, and the roll-your-sleeves-up-and-dig-in heartiness is totally authentic.
As with any of the world’s bouillabaisse-like seafood stews, using readily available fresh ingredients takes precedence over fidelity to the recipe. You might consider using a truly hearty fish, such as Mahi-Mahi. Lobster would be a good addition, or the chili could be made entirely with shrimp.
Since the chili base must be made at least 24 hours in advance, and the seafood then cooks in minutes, this is perfect party fare. Serve with Champagne, a Cava, or a Prosecco.
Recipe by KnowBuddy Bruce S.
¼ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 large leeks (white part only), well cleaned and chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
4 ½ teaspoons ground cumin (from toasted seeds if you have a spice grinder)
1 can (35 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, with their juice
2 cups bottled clam juice (or homemade fish stock!)
2 cups dry red wine
1 teaspoon chipotle morita pepper, (or to taste) or ½ cup chili paste
1 tablespoon salt
2 medium sweet red peppers, stemmed, cored and cut into ½-inch dice
2 medium sweet green peppers, stemmed, cored and cut into ½-inch dice
3 lbs Mahi-Mahi, or other lean white fish filets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ lb Shrimp
4 Lobster tails defrosted, tail meat removed from shell, cut into 1-inch pieces
In a 4 ½- to 5-quart heavy flameproof casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the onion, leeks, and celery, cover, and cook, stirring once or twice, for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
Add the garlic, oregano, and cumin, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your fingers, their juice, fish stock, red wine, chipotle chili powder or chili paste, and salt. Bring to a boil, skimming any scum that forms. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer, skimming and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
Stir in the sweet peppers and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
THE NEXT DAY ( PARTY DAY)
Bring the chili base slowly to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat so the chili simmers briskly.
Taste and correct the seasoning.
Stir in the Mahi-Mahi, lobster and shrimp, cover and simmer until the shrimp and lobster are just opaque and the Mahi-Mahi is beginning to flake, about 4 minutes.
Sprinkle each serving with cilantro.