RECIPE WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR WHAT KATIE ATE BY
There’s a fish stew recipe from every corner of the Med. I’ve been making it since my first cooking job in Marc Michel’s Organic Life cafe in Wicklow 16 years ago. This recipe is based on a dish I ate on a trip to the town of Livorno, north of Tuscany.
1 medium red onion
1 head of fennel, fronds on
2 red peppers, roasted, peeled and deseeded
1 x 400g tin of cherry tomatoes
4 fat cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 pinch saffron
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
Large pinch dried oregano
Pinch of sugar
100ml white wine
300ml fish stock
4 small monkfish tails
16 Dublin bay prawns - shells on.
2 large clean squid tubes, cut in rings
16 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
FOR THE AIOLI
3 egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
200ml sunflower oil
200ml light olive oil
Roughly chop the fennel, onions and red pepper into small pieces.
Gently heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the vegetables, garlic, bay leaves, star anise, oregano and chilli flakes and sweat for 5 minutes until softened. Add the saffron, tinned tomatoes & wine and bring to a simmer to cook off the alcohol.
Add the fish stock and return to a simmer, allowing the sauce to reduce by about 1/3.
This should take about an hour.
When ready to eat, gently add in the monkfish tails and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the squid, prawns & mussels to the pan. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 2/3 minutes until the mussels open and the prawns are cooked opaque. Discard any mussels that remain unopened.
Serve in a warm bowl with a dollop of aioli and some garlicky toasts.
TO MAKE THE AIOLI /
NOTE AIOLI IS NOT PICTURED IN THE ABOVE PHOTO BUT WORKS WONDERFULLY WITH THE DISH AND I WOULD SAY IS ESSENTIAL TO INCLUDE.
Using a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard and garlic and whizz until smooth and paler in colour (about 3/4 minutes). Combine the oils together in a jug and very slowly, in a very thin and steady stream, pour the oil into the running motor mix until all of the oil has been absorbed (emulsified) into the egg mix. Add the lemon zest and juice and season. The aioli may need to be loosened with a small splash of warm water if too thick.
Serve a dollop of the aioli with the fish stew and some garlicky toasts.