Boat-fresh Haddock and Maine Shrimp Stew
In the dead of winter, the freshest locally produced food available along the Maine coast is the catch brought every day to the docks by our brave, hardworking fishermen and women.
Boat-fresh haddock and the cold water shrimp known locally as Maine shrimp are among the best of the winter bounty from the fishery, so I keep coming back to this combination again and again -- trying each time to put a different spin on it.
This dish is extremely simple and quick if you have some Red Shrimp Broth on hand. Leeks simmered in the broth add a layer of interest, bacon introduces a smoky note, and the cherrystones, haddock and shrimp, bathed in the delicious broth, make a great seafood stew. Serve over rice or (my preference) with a crusty bread for sopping up broth.
Dock-fresh Haddock and Maine Shrimp Stew
4 C Red Shrimp Broth
1 leek, white part only
2 strips bacon
1-1/2 lb fresh haddock fillets
8 cherrystone clams
1 lb Maine shrimp, peeled
1/4 preserved lemon
2 T butter
4 T heavy cream
salt, hot sauce to taste
mince parsley for garnish
Clean the leek and slice in thin disks. Simmer the leeks in the broth about 15 minutes, until tender. Meanwhile, sauté the bacon strips until just starting to crisp. Drain bacon, cut into 1/4" bits and add to broth. Scrape the pulp from the preserved lemon quarter, cut it into very thin crescents and add it to the broth.
Cut the haddock fillets into pieces about 1" x 2". Scrub the clams under running water. Turn the heat under the broth up to medium high and add the clams. Cook at a low boil until the clams have opened, about 8 - 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the fish and shrimp and, stirring gently, cook for about 1 minute. Do not overcook -- remember that cooking continues even after you remove from the heat, and that overcooking the haddock will cause it to fall apart. Stir in the butter and correct seasoning with salt and hot sauce.
To serve, use a slotted spoon to place pieces of the fish, the shrimp and the clams in soup plates, then ladle the broth over the fish. Drizzle on the cream and garnish with a scattering of minced parsley.
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