Key Ingredient

Shrimp, Maryland Crab, and Rockfish Stew

Photo by Kieran Wagner

Food Culture of the South

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Serves 8 to 10

    For the stew:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

  • 2 leeks, well washed, halved, and cut into pieces

  • ½ cup chopped fennel bulb or 1 tablespoon fennel seed

  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 3 small potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 2 cups dry white wine

  • 3 cups fish stock

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • 4 saffron threads

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 8-10 baguette slices, cut on a bias

  • Melted butter and chopped garlic, for toast
  • ½ pound rockfish fillets, cut into 2-inch-square pieces

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 pound fresh lump Maryland crabmeat, picked over for shells
  • Chopped parsley, to finish
  • For the rouille:
  • 1 small potato, peeled

  • 1 cup reserved broth (from stew)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 fresh or dried red chiles

  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt to taste
  1. Make the stew: In a heavy pot, heat oil and sauté onion, garlic, leeks, and fennel until slightly softened, about
8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes, wine, fish stock, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Using a blender or food processor, carefully puree mixture. Pour through a fine mesh sieve and return to pot. Add orange zest, saffron, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until somewhat reduced, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush baguette slices with melted butter and top with garlic. Toast in the oven until browned.
  3. Add rockfish to the sauce and cook until fish is almost done, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add shrimp and crabmeat and simmer until shrimp is pink, about 3 to 5 minutes longer. Reserve 1 cup of liquid for rouille.
  4. Make the rouille: Quarter potato and cook in reserved cooking liquid until tender. Drain, reserving the liquid.
In a blender or food processor, finely chop garlic and chiles. Add potato, Tabasco, and oil. Process until mixture forms a paste. Slowly add reserved liquid until the mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise. Season with salt.
  5. To assemble: Place a piece of garlic bread into each bowl. Next, spoon in fish and add broth. Arrange shrimp and crabmeat on top and garnish with parsley. Serve rouille on the side.

From Pinched: The State of Maryland’s Crab Industry.

  • Recipe adapted from <i>New Chesapeake Kitchen</i> by John Shields (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018)

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