Luxe Bay-Scallop Stew

Course : Seafoods
Serves: 6
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1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
1 large carrot*
1 medium onion
1 medium fennel bulb * **
1 large leek -- white part only*
60 milliliters garlic -- peeled and sliced thin
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
4 cups fish broth ---
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon dill
1 tablespoon tarragon
3 tablespoons wine vinegar -- (champagne, preferred)
1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces French green beans -- blanced and cut into 1-1/4 inch pieces
1 medium potato -- (new or red)*
1 small tomato -- seeded *
3/4 pound bay scallops

Preparation / Directions:

* peeled and cut into medium dice] ** stalks and outer layer removed, then cut into medium dice] *** may substitute 2 cups clam juice plus 2 cups water] I. Tie fresh basil, dill, and tarragon in cheesecloth. Save a little extra for garnish II. Heat olive oil over low heat in a large saucepan with carrot, onion, and fennel. Stir occasionally until vegetables are softened but not brown. Add leek, garlic and saffron and cook and stir until soft. Add fish broth and herb sachet. Bring both to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, then add vinegar and season to taste with salt and a little cayenne. Strain 2 cups of broth into a small saucepan. Reserve the remaining broth and vegetables. III. Meanwhile, heat water in a small saucepan. When it boils, add 1 tablespoon salt and green beans. When just tender, transfer then to a bowl of cold water with a slotted spoon. Add the diced potato and cook until just tender. Drain. Prepare tomato. (Recipe may be done ahead to this point.) IV. To finish the dish, divide the green beans, potato and tomato among six soup bowls or plates. Reheat the broth and vegetables. Heat broth in small pan. When it simmers add the scallops. Cook only a minute or two, then portion out the vegetables and broth. Add scallops and their broth. Garnish with a sprinkling of coarsely chopped basil, dill, and tarragon. Serve at once. From the Luxe (24 E. 21st St., NY, NY), chef Nick Laakkonen Chicago Tribune Magazine, Mar. 21, 1993

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