Marseille Style Shrimp Stew

Marseille Style Shrimp Stew in a cast iron skillet served with toast

Seafood Summer
When the mercury starts to climb, my diet becomes sushi, ceviche, and shrimp cocktail heavy. Maybe it is because the high temps outside make a lighter meal sound more appealing. Or maybe it’s because I spend more time at the beach. And, you can’t not have seafood at the beach. But, during the summer months, I eat a lot of seafood.

I am especially fond of anything steamed or stewed in a light broth that requires some gorgeous crusty bread for dunking. Mussels, clams, shrimp…? Bring ‘em on. They are tasty. They are fast. And, any of the possibilities pair well with a salad and a cold glass of white or rose.

The added bonus? There is just something about a tasty bowl of mussels or shrimp that immediately transports you to a seaside village in the South of France. The smell of the salty air. The sound of the boats rocking on the water. Ahhhhhh!

Marseille Style Shrimp Stew
Adapted from Melissa Clark for Food and Wine
Yields 4 generous servings

In our recipe for Marseille Style Shrimp Stew, jumbo shrimp are stewed with savory fennel, cloves, tomatoes, orange zest, and wine. It is served with a rouille, or delightfully flavored mayonnaise, spread on a toasted baguette slice.

For the Rouille
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the Stew
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
2 1-inch strips of orange zest
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 cup dry white wine or rose
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, or to taste, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper
2 pounds jumbo shrimp
Toasted baguette slices, for serving

Make the rouille
Mince the garlic and mash it in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Whisk in the mayonnaise, lemon juice, paprika and cayenne. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set the rouille aside.

Prep the ingredients
Core and finely chop the fennel bulb, finely chop the onion, mince the garlic, and zest the orange into 1-inch strips. Peel and devein the shrimp.

Cook the vegetables
In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the fennel and onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened (about 7 minutes).

Add the garlic, orange zest, and ground cloves and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).

Add the liquid
Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated (about 5 minutes). Add the clam juice, tomatoes, saffron, and 1 cup of water. Bring the liquid to a boil.

Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half (about 10 minutes).

Add the shrimp
Add the shrimp to the skillet, cover, and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until cooked (about 5 minutes).

While the shrimp is cooking, toast the baguette slices.

Discard the orange zest.

To serve
Spread the rouille on the toasted baguette slices and serve with the stew.

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