Valentine’s Recipe: Florida Fish Stew with Spicy Saffron Broth and Polenta Cakes
Florida Fish Stew with Spicy Saffron Broth and Polenta Cakes
Spicy Saffron Broth
½ cup yellow onion, julienned
½ cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup julienned fennel bulb
½ cup leeks, white part only, sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart Fish Fumet (Recipe in The Ravenous Pig: Seasons of Florida)
Roasted Garlic Polenta Cake
¼ cup peeled garlic cloves
½ cup canola oil
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups polenta (coarse-grained Italian yellow cornmeal)
Coarse salt, freshly ground white pepper, to taste
¼ cup chopped chives
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
6 (4-ounce) black grouper fillets
18 littleneck clams, purged and scrubbed
12 Florida prawns, cleaned and shelled
12 ounces lump crabmeat
1 cup hominy
Make saffron broth
Sauté onion, carrot, celery, fennel, and leek in olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
Stir in tomato paste, salt, saffron, red pepper flake, thyme and bay leaf.
Stir in wine, loosening bits of vegetables from bottom of pan. Add fish fumet and simmer 30 minutes.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
Make polenta cake
Cover peeled garlic cloves with canola oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When garlic begins to bubble, cover pot with a tight-fitting lid or foil and cook garlic until it turns golden brown and aromatic, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain garlic and puree until smooth.
Line a 9×12-inch sheet pan with parchment or Silpat.
Bring chicken stock and cream to a boil. Slowly stream in polenta, whisking constantly. Whisk in garlic puree.
Stir continuously over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from pan. Season with salt and white pepper. Fold in chives. Transfer to lined sheet pan and refrigerate until completely cool.
Cut polenta into portions about the size of a deck of cards.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until oil slightly begins to smoke slightly. Sear fillets, presentation side down.
Add clams, prawns, crabmeat, 3 cups saffron broth, and hominy. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 to 7 minutes, or until fish is cooked and clams are opened.
Sear polenta cakes in remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil.
Place a polenta cake in bottom of each deep serving bowl. Place fish on top and arrange clams, prawns, crab, and hominy around fish.
Reduce saffron broth for another minute over high heat, then pour over contents of each bowl.