Warm Stew with Warm Memories
I’m smiling as I write this, because this recipe was first shared with me while cruising in the Abacos, Bahamas. Fifteen years ago, our family was living aboard our first sailboat, the original Snowcat. We met another boat with kids from Rhode Island and “buddy boated” with them for several weeks…such fun! I relive these good times with every batch of this savory stew that they introduced to us. I’ve been refining the recipe with each fish that we catch, or seafood that I've purchased... now it's ready to share.
Got Fish? Get Old Bay
The not-so-well-kept secret that makes this stew so awesome is Old Bay Seasoning. This seasoning mix is a combination of herbs and spices that enhances the mild flavor of fish. We ate a lot of Old Bay seasoned shrimp and crab during our time in the Chesapeake Bay last year. I even considered making my own version Old Bay, but the 14 spices in the ingredient list helped convince me that Old Bay is worth buying. My yellow can of Old Bay takes up valuable real estate in my small pantry, but I use it all of the time when preparing fish on the boat or back home in Steamboat.
Do you have Old Bay Seasoning in your spice drawer? I’d love to hear how you use it, so leave a comment below and share your ideas.
Spicy Seafood Stew
- 2 sliced bacon chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 28- ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1 6- ounce can tomato paste
- 1 quart fish stock chicken stock can be substituted
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups diced red potatoes
- 1 pound firm white fish haddock, grouper or mahi-mahi work well
- In a large soup pot, cook bacon over medium heat to release the fat. Add onion, pepper, and carrots, and continue to sauté until vegetables become soft.
- Add all remaining ingredients except fish and simmer for 30 minutes. At this point the soup-base can be refrigerated for up to two days before making it into fish chowder.
- Prepare fish by cleaning, deboning and cutting skin-less fish fillets into ½-inch chunks.
- Thirty minutes before serving, heat the prepared soup-base to a simmer. Add fish and continue to simmer for 15 minutes until fish is cooked through (about 135º F). Serve.
Made this stew last night and we loved it! Thanks for sharing another delicious recipe. I always have Old Bay in the pantry but will now expand it's use beyond seafood - can't wait to try on popcorn. We had a MAJOR storm in Fort Collins this week so thought of you in the warm Bahamas. Hope you are enjoying. Mike came home from 6 weeks sailing Thursday as the storm moved out. Stil had flip flops on when I picked him up at the airport!
Best to you and Dean.
I'm glad to hear that you tried my Spicy Seafood Stew! As you can imagine, the ingredients can endlessly flexible as long as you have that little yellow can on Old Bay in your pantry. The image of Mike arriving after a snow storm still wearing flip-flops tickled my funny bones. No doubt, he had a smile on his face after 6 weeks of sailing. Thanks for checking in!
Eileen P Grover
This looks and sounds yummy. I love Old Bay and always have a can of it in my spice cupboard. When I want an easy dinner, I thaw some tilapia fillets, then spray 2 sheets of aluminum foil with cooking oil spray and lay a fillet on each sheet. Sprinkle the fish generously with Old Bay, lay some thin slices of lemon atop the seasoning and then fold the foil to make sealed pouches. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. I also use it to do whole trout. I season the inside cavity and sprinkle all over the skin as well. put some lemon in the cavity and seal the pouch. I bake those for about 15 minutes. Last night I seasoned some boneless pork chops with it and pan seared the chops until they reached 155 degrees and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. Yum. You could pan sear or grill the fish the same way. I also use it in a cold seafood pasta salad.
Great ideas, you’re an Old Bay pro! I’m thinking of trying your foil pouch idea and cooking it on the grill. Thanks!
Old Bay is a favorite of ours! Dad's family (all from Maryland) introduced us to Herr's potato chips with Old Bay seasoning. Hard to find out here in the Rockies, but sprinkle some on any regular potato chip and enjoy! We also add some to our hush puppies for extra flavor.
You'll be glad to know that our kids have taken the cookbook you gave Trevor and challenged one another the past few nights to see who could make the best dinner. Sarah and I are loving the contest! Trevor, being our soup lover, will be excited to try this new recipe.
Miss you two!
Great hearing from you Todd! Thanks for you Old Bay Seasoning ideas. You’ve inspired me to try it on popcorn next time I make it. I’m loving the vision of your kids competing for the best dinner. Do you think that you can keep the competition going for the next 6 years? Good luck with all of your snow in Colorado...it’s overcast here in the Bahamas, but 85 degrees!
I just tried Old Bay on buttered popcorn - fabulous! Thanks for your hilarious comment.