I don’t know how to put this nicely so I’m just going to write what I’m thinking.
Mother Nature, for the love of all New Englanders, what the fvck is up with you? Why have you been dumping your bitterly icy attitude on us like it’s been that time of month for two months straight? Maybe you think this is some kind of sick game, but honestly, the constant challenge of “where the heck do I put all this white stuff” has become rather belittling. Give it up already.
Whew. Now that I got that out…
I really, really, really want to go somewhere warm. It’s all I’ve been thinking about for several days straight. And I don’t mean somewhere just a little warmer than here. I want HOT. Nothing like a little sunshine to beat these winter blues, right? (I actually wouldn’t know since I can’t remember the last tropical vacation I took in the dead of winter. So I’m just guessing.) Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere because I’m too darn scared to book a flight. The way things are going, it’s highly likely that flight would get canceled anyway.
But get a clue, Mother Nature. Though it’s much easier to just stay in a pissy mood, a little extra effort to think positively always pays off. So since I’m stuck here, I’m going to focus on what I do like about cold, snowy nights. Warm, hearty soups and stews. They don’t have these in the tropics, right? Take that, hot climates!
This is not your typical heavy winter stew, but it fills the belly and soothes the soul nonetheless. It’s full of all things seafood, which is a nice alternative to meaty stews (and my preference, anyway.) Chickpeas add extra heartiness, and fresh fennel brings an unexpected but complimentary flavor. It’s fiery spice will warm you to the core, but a squeeze of lemon and a smattering of cilantro keep it bright and fresh at the same time.
I may be buried beneath 6 feet of snow (if you count the drifts) but at least I have dinner to look forward to.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup crushed tomatoes (canned if tomatoes are out of season)
3/4 cup water
1 small fennel bulb, sliced thinly (about 6oz sliced)
3/4 cup drained, rinsed chickpeas (about 1/2 of a 15oz can)
1 mahi filet, about 5 oz, cut in half
10 large mussels, scrubbed and debearded
4 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons lemon juice
chopped fresh cilantro
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep saute pan. Cook the garlic and crushed red pepper for about 1 minute, until light golden and fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute more.
Add the crushed tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Add the mahi, fennel and chickpeas, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add the mussels and shrimp, return the cover, and cook for about 3 more minutes, until the mussels have opened and the shrimp are just opaque.
Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 12.9 g
Cholesterol: 215.0 mg
Sodium: 1,052.2 mg
Total Carbs: 34.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 9.5 g
Protein: 57.4 g