Hugh Acheson’s spectacular seafood stew mixes inspiration from classic South Carolina seafood boils, as well as France’s bouillabaisse. You can add other seafood as available: fresh clams, lobster and B.C. spot prawns would work perfectly.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
¼ cup finely diced celery
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup unsalted tomato juice, or canned whole tomatoes, pureed
3 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice
9 new potatoes, golf-ball sized
3 ears of corn, shucked and cut into quarters
1 pound andouille or chorizo sausage
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ pounds fresh large shrimp, heads off, peeled, but with very end of the tail shell intact
1 cup arugula, lightly chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 thin lemon rounds, seeds removed
6 thick slices of baguette or country bread, grilled, for serving
Place a large pot with a lid over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, then the leeks. Sauté until just translucent, about 3 minutes, and add the tomatoes, celery, garlic and thyme. Sauté for 3 more minutes and add the white wine; reduce by half. Add the tomato juice, fish stock, potatoes, corn and sausage. Cook for 5 minutes and add the Old Bay and ½ teaspoon of the salt.
Season the shrimp with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Add the shrimp to the pot, cover with a lid and cook for five minutes, until they’re cooked through.
Stir in the arugula and butter. Add the parsley and lemon and season to taste with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
Ladle the stew into six bowls and garnish with grilled bread.
Reprinted from the book A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson. Copyright © 2011 by Hugh Acheson. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.