february 13, 2011

We continued our Valentine’s Day Mediterranean feast with a fisherman’s stew. Various seafood and shellfish made the soup rich and flavorful. A perfect follow-up to our lunch. We then finished the day off with a Greek almond filo snake for dessert.


8 oz manila clams
8 oz black mussels
8 oz rockfish
8 oz black cod
8 oz shrimp, shells on
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced (discarding greens)
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 16oz can peeled tomatoes, blended
2 cups dry white wine
4 cups water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
flat leaf parsley, chopped
lemon, cut into wedges
salt pepper
cheese cloth
hearty bread, thinly sliced

Bouquet Garni
3 bay leaves
10 saffron threads
10 black peppercorns
3/4 tsp thyme

Prepare the seafood: debone fish filets, scrub clams and mussels (discarding any that fail to close), and peel and devein shrimp (reserve shells). Once ready, seafood should be kept cold in the refrigerator.

Make bouquet garni by placing herbs in cheese cloth and tying ends securely together. Wrap shrimp shells in cheese cloth and tie ends securely together.

In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add carrots, leeks, garlic, bouquet garni, and shrimp shells. Cover, lower heat to medium, and allow to sweat for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for two minutes. Add wine and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Drizzile bread slices with olive oil. Place in an oven pre-heated to 300F for 15 minutes or until just crispy. Remove and allow to cool.

Add clams to simmering soup. Allow to return to boil. Add remaining seafood, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes (seafood will continue to cook). Discard any shellfish that have not opened. Also discard both cheese cloth bouquets. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve is large bowls with a slice of crispy bread. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedge.

Almond Filo Snake

2/3 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup flaked almonds
6 oz icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
1 egg, separated
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbs olive oil
9 sheets filo pastry
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 8″ pie dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine all almonds and icing sugar. Beat egg white and add to bowl, along with lemon zest. Mix to form a paste.

Divide the mixture into 3 and roll each portion into a 18″ long cigar, 1/2″ wide. Remove one sheet of filo dough (keep other sheets under a damp towel to keep from drying out). Brush sheet with olive oil, then cover with two more oiled sheets. Place one almond cigar along the length of oiled pastry and roll to encase the filling. Repeat to make 2 more cigars. Coil 1 cigar and place in pie dish. Continue the coil by joining the remaining two cigars.

Add cinnamon to egg yoke, brush mixture over snake. Bake for 30 minutes, then flip and bake another 10 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm.

leave a comment