Manhattan-Style Seafood Stew

Course : Seafoods
Serves: 4
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5 slices bacon -- chopped
1 1/2 large onions -- chopped
5 large shallots or green onions chopped
5 1/4 pounds cans Italian plum tomatoes drained
24 ounces bottled clam juice
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 pieces bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper -- crushed
1 pound white rose potatoes -- peeled quartered lengthwise -- and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
3 1/2 pounds clams -- well scrubbed
1/2 pound sea scallops -- halved crosswise
1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp peeled and deveined -- with tails left intact
30 bunch fresh basil leaves -- thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon peel -- julienne

Preparation / Directions:

Cook bacon in a heavy large pot over medium heat until fat renders, about 5 minutes. Add onions and shallots and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Chop tomatoes in a food processor. Add to pot with clam juice, wine, bay leaves and dried red pepper. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes to stew and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Return to simmer before continuing.) Add clams to stew. Cover and simmer until clams begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add scallops and shrimp, cover and simmer until clams open and scallops and shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Discard and clams that do not open. Mix in half of basil. Transfer stew to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with remaining basil and lemon peel.

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