I am very excited.
In about a month, Simon and I will be spending 3 days in Austin for PaleoFX. While there, I expect we’ll hear some inspiring talks from amazing speakers, see some old friends and meet some new ones. Oh and I’ll be doing a cooking demo, which I’m equally excited and horrified about.
Trying to decide on a dish to demo is the exact type of situation that sends me directly into a mindset I like to call holycrapI’msooverwhelmed. How am I supposed to pick ONE dish to demo with all of the choices I have? Do I do something simple? Complex? Meat? Vegetable? Pasta? (just seeing if you’re paying attention). This is about the time I start asking my friends what they would do, and usually don’t take any of their advice (I’m overwhelmed, remember?) Johnny from Eating For Idiots said I should do something that people tend to think is difficult, but is actually quite simple, like mussels. Brilliant!
So I didn’t totally take his advice, but it was surely my inspiration for what I did decide to do for my cooking demo. It’s one of San Francisco’s signature dishes, and one of my favorites. Fish and shellfish quickly simmers in a light fennel scented tomato broth. It’s quick. It’s simple. And it’s perfect for either a weeknight meal or an elegant dinner party.
I hope to see you at Paleo FX next month!
¾ pound firm white fish (cod, halibut etc)
¾ pound mussels
½ pound medium or large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 cup thinly sliced fennel (about 1 medium bulb, fronds reserved)
1 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2-3 shallots)
1.5 cups chicken stock
1.5 cups jarred tomatoes
¾ cup white wine
1 teaspoon Red Boat fish sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon butter (or any good fat is fine)
- In a medium stock pot, heat the fat and saute the fennel and shallots for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes and stir.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the wine, chicken stock, fish sauce and tomatoes.
- Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Add the mussels and continue to simmer until the shells open, about 2 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and fish, and simmer for one more minute, or until they are cooked through. It cooks quick!
- Turn off the heat, and squeeze in half the lemon
- Serve garnished with reserved fennel fronds and wedges cut from the remaining half lemon. (Toss any mussels that don’t open)