Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Normandy Style Seafood Stew

Normandy is one of our favorite areas in France. The abundance of fresh seafood, butter, Calvados and ciders made us just want to go back to our farmhouse and cook. The halibut, scallops and mussels are wonderful with the fennel and Calvados.

Normandy Style Seafood Stew

Makes 8 Servings

11/2 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 medium sized yellow onion
1 cup dry white wine
10 sprigs of parsley plus 1/4 cup chopped
2 cups leeks, white and pale green part only, finely chopped
2 cups diced fennel bulb
2 tablespoons butter
13/4 pound halibut fillet, skin removed and cut into 11/2 inch pieces
10 ounces fresh sea scallops
1- 8 ounce bottle clam juice
24 ounces fish stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup Calvados (apple liquor)
1 cup heavy cream
  • Combine mussels, 11/4 cup chopped onions, wine, and 6 sprigs parsley in a 6-8 quart Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover and cook until mussels open, shaking pot often, about 5 minutes, Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to a large bowl to cool (discard any mussels that do not open). Strain cooking liquid into a bowl or large measuring cup; discard onions and parsley in strainer. Add 1 cup water to the mussel broth and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in the same Dutch oven over medium heat. Add remaining 11/4 cups onions, leeks, and fennel and sauté until leeks are soft, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Add your reserved mussel cooking liquid, 4 parsley sprigs, clam juice, fish stock, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and liquid has been reduced by 1/3, about 25 minutes. Add halibut and scallops to broth and simmer until just opaque in center, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer halibut and scallops to a bowl. Discard parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves.
  • Serve in warm bowls with a crispy baguette and serve with your favorite bottle of white wine.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Keeping your Dutch Oven in Tip-Top Shape!

To ensure a long life for your pot, remember these basic guidelines:
  1. Just rinse it out with a little soapy water and a soft sponge. To remove any stuck particles from your Dutch oven, soak the pot in hot, soapy water and scrub with a plastic scouring pad. Never use heavy abrasives or metal scouring pads.
  2. On the stove top, cook over low to medium heat. Never use our Dutch oven over high heat for searing,g, or the enamel will crack and chip.
  3. Don't leave an empty pot on a hot burner - the enamel will crack.
  4. Please take care not to drop or bang your Dutch oven, as the enamel coating can chip. However, shipping does not make it unsafe to use.
  5. Dutch ovens are ovenproof; however, the knobs and handles get hot and stay hot! Be careful! Always use two thick oven mitts when handling your pot.