Mom’s Seafood Stew

Mom's seafood stewThis is a very personal, nostalgic and meaningful recipe to me. It was something which I cooked for my mom while she was ill and the last thing I prepared for her. I added some twists to my original recipe since. It remains a simple, tasty and heartfelt dish, perfect for rainy weather and cold nights.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes (or 4 large fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 litre of chicken stock (Campbell is my number 1 choice)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • dried and fresh basil
  • Paprika
  • Live NZ Mussels (This usually comes in a large pack but if not, get 2 per person)
  • 300g of Tiger Prawns

Getting it Done!

  1. Finely dice the onion and garlic, separately, then set aside
  2. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil into a large heavy bottom pot, then add the onions in before turning on the heat to medium
  3. Stir well for a minutes, close the lid, turn the heat to low and leave for a few minutes to sweat the onions
  4. Remove the lid, turn the heat back up to medium and stir occasionally until the onions are browned
  5. Add the garlic, and a teaspoon of dried basil, stir continuously until the garlic is fragrant
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock, turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes to concentrate the flavors
  7. Set aside and when at room temperature blend until it becomes a smooth and silky soup
  8. 30 minutes before you are ready to serve, de-shell and de-vein the prawns and cut each prawn into thirds
  9. Add a dash of cumin, turmeric, paprika, garlic salt and a teaspoon of corn or rice flour before mixing well
  10. Over medium heat, in a wok or pan, add 3 cm of vegetable oil
  11. The oil is hot enough when a wooden chopstick bubbles rapidly when inserted
  12. Add the chunks of prawns and fry for 60 seconds, no more
  13. Remove, drain off excess oil and set aside
  14. Into a large pot, add 1 large ladle of the soup and bring to a boil before adding the mussels and closing the lid
  15. It should take only a few minutes for the shells to open up, turn off the heat and you are ready to serve
  16. Into every bowl, add a few ladles of soup, 2 mussels, topped with the prawn chunks and fresh basil, which you can just tear up with your hands
  17. Done!
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