Winter Seafood Stew

8:44 pm on 28 April 2008

(Serves 6)


  • 24 mussels
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
  • pinch saffron threads, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant, tipped onto a cold plate and ground to a powder with dry fingertips
  • 5 medium sized Agria potatoes, peeled and diced 3 cm
  • 400g skinned, boned, firm white fish cut into 4cm pieces
  • 300g raw peeled prawns
  • ½ -1 cup cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander


Place the mussels and wine in a saucepan with 250ml water. Bring to the boil and steam the mussels open, removing to a bowl as they open. 

Strain the cooking liquid and reserve it. Cool the mussels, shell them and remove the tough brown tongue and the white root from each.

Slice each mussel in half lengthways. Reserve.

Heat the oil over moderate heat in a deep frying pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, chilli, and saffron. Fry gently, without browning for about 10 minutes or until the onion is soft.

Add the potatoes and mussel liquid, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Add the fish and prawns, mix well and bring to the boil. Simmer until the seafood is just cooked. Add the mussels and cream to taste, bring back to the boil, remove from the heat, stir in the coriander, taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Serve in wide plates with crunchy toasted sour dough bread spread with homemade garlic mayonnaise. 

John Hawkesby’s wine suggestion

Sauvignon Blanc

  • South Bank Estate 2007

Pinot Grigio

  • Danzante 2006

Spanish Red

  • Armantes Old Bush Vine Garnacha 2006

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