Fennel and Seafood Medley

    7 hours

    A delicious way to prepare a Mediterranean seafood feast! Fennel and shellfish are steamed with a herbed saffron broth, and served along with seared sea bass fillets. It takes some effort to prepare, but your guests will never forget this meal!

    3 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • Squid
    • 20 baby squid (tubes and tentacles), cleaned
    • 3 cups (750ml) milk
    • Sauce
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 8 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 small onions, chopped
    • 2 large carrots, chopped
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 small fennel bulb, diced
    • 1/2 cup tomato paste
    • 1 cup (250ml) dry white wine
    • 3 cups (750ml) chicken stock
    • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley
    • 1/2 bunch fresh tarragon
    • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 1 tablespoon loosely packed saffron threads
    • Oysters, Clams and Mussels
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips
    • 6 baby fennel bulbs, halved
    • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme, chopped
    • 10 fresh oysters in shells, well scrubbed
    • 20 small clams or pipis
    • 20 fresh mussels
    • Fish
    • 6 fillets fresh sea bass or other white fish
    • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 6 sprigs parsley, for garnish

    Preparation:1hour  ›  Cook:1hour  ›  Extra time:5hours  ›  Ready in:7hours 

    1. Squid: Soak squid in milk for 1 to 5 hours; the longer the better. When the squid has finished soaking, strain and discard the milk.
    2. Sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, onions, carrots, tomatoes and diced fennel. Cook and stir until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, and cook an additional 10 minutes.
    3. Pour in wine and increase heat to high. Once the mixture comes to a boil add the chicken stock, parsley, tarragon, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and saffron. Return to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the liquid has reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Strain out the liquid and discard the solids.
    4. Oysters, Clams and Mussels Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant about 45 seconds. Add sun-dried tomatoes and fennel; cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the strained saffron broth and chopped thyme; increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
    5. Place oysters on top of the fennel, cover and cook for 1 minute. Set the clams and mussels into the pot, cover and cook until the shellfish begin to open, about 4 minutes. Stir in the drained squid, recover and cook for 1 minute, just until the squid firms.
    6. Fish: While the shellfish are cooking season the sea bass fillets with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Place fish into frypan skin-side down. Cover and cook until the skin is crispy and the flesh of the fish has firmed and is no longer translucent.
    7. Pour the fennel-seafood mixture onto a serving platter and place the sea bass fillets on top. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.

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    Reviews in English (1)


    This was fantastic. I made it for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day. It was impressive and delicious. We had some great Italian bread to soak up the wonderful sauce. Changes: I did not soak the squid as I am lactose-intolerant. I was going to hammer them to tenderize, but ended up without enough time, and it was not a problem at all. The squid were delicious. It was a lot of food for us (I divided the recipe in 3 to serve 2 people). We ended up eating it all anyway because it was so delicious, but probably ate too much. I would probably use less sea bass next time. The fish store told me it should be Chilean Sea Bass, which was super-pricey. I did do that, but it was a tender rich fish and I could have used a different fish I think. I would use less fish, then, but I would make more sauce, as the sauce was fantastic.  -  27 Feb 2012  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)