Dinner Rush! Portuguese Seafood Stew

Make quick seafood stew in lieu of the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve.

The popular Italian “Feast of the Seven Fishes” graces many a dinner table on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately for me, the celebrated tradition usually ends up conflicting with my family’s yearning for their own classics: a roast ham with trimmings. If you want the best of both worlds this holiday season, opt for an easy weeknight seafood stew in advance of the holiday.

While this dish is neither Italian nor crossing even the halfway mark to seven different fishes, the stew fits right in with a seasonal schedule. It comes together in no time, and since the flavors are developed by cooking everything in stages, you can prep as you’re cooking, making you an even more efficient Dinner Rush machine.

As with any pot of stew worth its weight in gold, this one is great to prepare en masse for leftovers or to feed the extra couple of hungry mouths that may drop by to spread yuletide cheer (however unannounced they may be).

Portuguese Seafood Stew
Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Level: Easy
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound linguica, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 cups seafood stock
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut into chunks
2 sprigs oregano, leaves removed and chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and ground black pepper
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 pound skinless firm white fish, such as bass or cod, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 loaf crusty bread, split

Place a large pot over medium-high heat with the oil. Add the linguica and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pot and reserve. Add the onion, garlic and paprika, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until caramelized and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and reduce by half while scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken stock, potatoes, herbs and some salt and pepper to the pot.

Bring the liquid up to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer the potatoes for 5 minutes. Add the kale to the pot and return the liquid to a simmer. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Stir the mussels and shrimp into the pot and arrange the fish on top. Simmer until the seafood is cooked through and the mussels have opened, 5 to 7 minutes more. Discard any mussels that have not opened. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, stirring gently to avoid breaking up the pieces of fish.

While the stew is simmering, preheat the broiler. In a bowl combine the butter, garlic and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Toast the cut side of the bread under the broiler until light golden brown. Spread the butter on the toasted side of the bread and return to the broiler to melt the butter. Cut into wedges and reserve warm.

Serve the stew with the garlic bread.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he’s now the Digital Content Manager for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Instagram or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.

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