Gulf Coast Seafood Stew

- Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Karin Olsen
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Karin Olsen

Hurricane Katrina and a subsequent oil spill off the coast of Louisiana renewed appreciation for our region's seafood. This stew shows off its incomparable flavors, colors, and beauty.

Hands-on time: 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yields: Makes 6 to 8 servings


1 1/2 pounds unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp

2 celery ribs

1 large sweet onion

2 qt. reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth

12 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 pound small red potatoes, halved

1 (12-oz.) bottle beer

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 fresh bay leaves

2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 1/2 pounds fresh white fish fillets, (such as snapper, grouper, or catfish), cubed

1 pound cooked crawfish tails (optional)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Griddle Corn Cakes

Spiced Mayonnaise

How to Make It

Peel shrimp; place shells in a saucepan. (Refrigerate shrimp until ready to use.) Add celery ends and onion peel to pan; chop remaining celery and onion, and reserve. (Using the leftover bits of onion and celery will layer the flavor and result in a flavorful broth.) Add broth; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, 7 to 8 minutes or until browned. Remove sausage; pat dry. Wipe Dutch oven clean. Sauté celery, onion, and peppers in hot oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic, and sauté 45 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in potatoes, next 4 ingredients, and sausage.

Pour broth mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into Dutch oven, discarding solids. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add fish; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until just opaque. Add shrimp, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. If desired, stir in crawfish, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon seafood into warmed soup bowls. Top with broth mixture. Serve immediately with Griddle Corn Cakes and Spiced Mayonnaise.


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