Tonight I wanted to make a dinner that used the fresh halibut and shrimp that my husband caught this weekend. It was the first time out on the water this season, and it's nice to have the fresh seafood again. I also wanted to use what I had in the refrigerator as far as produce goes. I had fennel I received in my CSA box this past week. So I decided to make a variation of Cioppino. I didn't have any clams or mussels, so I decided to use just halibut and shrimp. Maybe it was more like a fish stew, but it really didn't matter, because it wth as delicious. Halibut and shrimp in a garlicy tomato broth, spiced with thyme, bay, and red chili flakes. It was a quick meal to put together, and tasted like it had cooked for hours. I served it with thinly sliced bread that was drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and pepper, placed under the broiler until crisp, then rubbed with fresh garlic. Serve with a nice glass of red wine and you have a fabulous dinner.
1 fennel bulb, chopped into small dice
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes in puree
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup full-bodied wine, such as a zinfandel or syrah (I used a malbec)
1 8oz bottle clam juice
1 lb skinless fillets of halibut, cut into 1" pieces
1 lb peeled shrimp
Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Add fennel, onion, and garlic, and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.
Add bay leaf, thyme, chili flakes, 1 teaspoon salt,a nd fresh black pepper. Cook, over medium healt, stirring occassionally about another 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
Add tomatoes with the puree, water, wine, and clam juice. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium, and simmer 20-30 minutes. Add the halibut and shrimp, and cook until the seafood is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Discard bay leaf and serve in bowl along with crostini.