Tonight, I made the below recipe (from epicurious.com) again for the 4th time, which has become one of our favorites. It’s so easy and very delicious!! I tweak it to suit my taste as indicated, and serve with warm bread for dipping. 🙂
- 1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded and bulb cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (I use 6 cloves)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California (I add a few extra)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes (I use at least 1 1/2 tsp.) haha.
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in juice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup full-bodied red wine such as Zinfandel or Syrah (I use Merlot or Cabernet)
- 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
- 1 pound skinless fillets of thick white-fleshed fish such as halibut, hake, or pollack, cut into 2-inch chunks (I’ve used hake, tilapia, and cod – all good)
- 1 pound cultivated mussels (I don’t like mussels, but shrimp and clams sound good :))
Pulse fennel, onion, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then stir in chopped vegetables, bay leaves, thyme, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring once or twice, until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes with their juice, water, wine, and clam juice and boil, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in seafood and cook, uncovered, until fish is just cooked through and mussels open wide, 4 to 6 minutes (discard any that remain unopened after 6 minutes). Discard bay leaves.