Spicy mixed shellfish dishes are great anytime of year. But in the cold of winter, with a dash of crushed, hot red pepper flakes, they offer a lot of flavor and comfort.
Dishes like this are great. They pair with a myriad of wines. White wine drinkers will be happy. Champagne enthusiasts will have something to cheer for and red wine drinkers, who enjoy wines with some freshness and bright flavors like Burgundy, Pinot Noir, Cote Rotie, or in this case, Chateauneuf du Pape will all be able to make great pairings.
The dish works for several reasons. It looks great! All the best dishes are eaten with our eyes first. The vibrant green hue from the Fava Beans sets off the translucent, white of the shellfish. The earthy red of the sausage and chili flakes brings the image together.
A variety of flavors and textures play in your mouth. Crunchy beans, shrimp that pops and a spicy broth that requires bread to sop up every last drop.
For the preparation, if you have the time, you can make your own seafood stock out of lobster shells, shrimp shells, fish bones etc. If not, if you live near a fish market, buy some.
In the dish, if you like shrimp, use some. If not, why not add lobster, crab, halibut, etc. The key to having fun in the kitchen is to experiment. Stick to the general idea, but focus on the ingredients you like best.
If you’re using fava beans, they are a bit of a pain to work worth. The beans need to be removed for the pod. Then, each bean must be removed the shell. Here’s the trick. Boil the beans for 60 seconds, place the beans in an ice both so you don’t burn your fingers, squeeze them from the bottom and they’ll pop out of their shell.
In a sauce pan, heat your stock. In a non stick pan, get it hot. Use olive oil, add a dash of hot red pepper flakes, place your shrimp or other seafood into the pan. At the same time, put your clams in a pan with simmering white wine and garlic. Leave the clams until they open. Remove the clams, Discard most of the wine. Back to your seafood, once your seafood is done, remove the fish. Dump the oil. Deglaze the pan with either white wine, seafood stock or both.
Add back the seafood, clams, fava beans, remaining stock, some of the white wine and the cooked chorizo. Allow this to simmer at a low heat for a bit.
It sounds complicated. There are a few more pots and pans to wash. But it’s worth the effort.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post.