Seafood Stew

Soup in dish
My Dad came into town and we had a family dinner last night.  I asked him if there are something he had a hankering for.  His reply was "I love Bouillabaisse".  I figured a Seafood Stew was close enough.  This serves 6.

1 fennel bulb chopped into small pieces
2 celery ribs finely chopped
1 Spanish onion finely chopped
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs squid, cut into 1/2" rings and tentacles
2 cups white wine
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 lemon zested
2 cups water
1 cup clam juice
1 lb mussels
1 lb clams
1 lb large shrimp, shelled
1 lb. striped bass fillet ( skinless ) cut into 2" pieces

Soup in lecruest
In a dutch oven pot ( Le Cruset to the rescue again) coat the bottom with olive oil.  Once the olive oil is hot add the fennel, onions, celery, oregano and pepper flakes.   For about 15 minutes, over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables get soft.  Add in the squid and let this continue to cook over a low heat for another 15 minutes, again stirring occasionally.

Pour in the wine, stir and bring to boil.  Let this boil down for about 15 minutes.  At this point, I found out that dinner was not going to be in an hour but 2 hours.  So, once the wine almost boiled down, I turned off the heat and let the pot hang out on the stove for about an hour.  Just tossing that in here because although this dish is a step by step and then you serve, shit happens and it was still delicious.

Once the wine is boiled down ( I reheated the pot ), add in the crushed tomatoes and lemon zest.  Season with some salt and pepper.  Turn to low, stirring occasionally, and let this get thick.  About 40 minutes.  At this point, nobody had made an appearance and the rest takes only a few minutes, so once again, I turned the heat off.

People started showing up, I turned the stove back on and continued.  Pour in the water and clam juice and bring to a boil.  Add the mussels, clam and shrimp.  Cover until the shells have opened.  About 5 minutes.  Now, add the striped bass, mix and continue to cook about 2 minutes. 

Serve in big boils with some bread on the side.  Voila.