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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.

Servings: 6


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.

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