Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bubba's Spicy Seafood Stew

I've fallen in love with Bubba's Special Sauce as an ingredient in recipes that call for canned tomatoes. I just substitute Bubba's for some or all of the canned tomatoes, and the final product is transformed from everyday ho-hum to zestily delicious with a peppery kick. That's one of the modifications I made to the original old seafood stew recipe I had in my file (the original called for plain canned tomatoes, and I substituted some Bubba's for half of the canned tomatoes and one of my favorite hot sauces for the red pepper flakes). This seafood stew is especially good if made with fresh fish and clams, but you can also use frozen fish fillets and canned clams if that's all you have. Serve with crusty Italian or French bread (or garlic bread!) and a tossed green salad for a hearty supper.

1 lb fresh or frozen (thawed) catfish fillets
8 large fresh clams in shells, or 10 oz canned whole baby clams
1 Tbs olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 jar Bubba's Special Sauce
1 can (14 to 16 oz) cut tomatoes
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 cup bottled clam juice (plus 1/2 cup more if using fresh clams)
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel (make sure you avoid any of the white pith when peeling the lemon)
1/2 tsp crushed dried basil OR 1 Tbs chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh snipped parsley
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Blues Habanero Reserve Hot Sauce (or substitute 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes)
4 oz. medium pasta shells, uncooked

If using clams in shells, wash them thoroughly and then place in a large bowl or pot, cover with 8 cups of cold water and 3 Tbs salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, rinse, and repeat the soak/rinse process two more times. This will wash away any sediment or grit and plump up the clams.

If using canned clams, drain them and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid, and set aside.

Prepare the fish by removing any skin from the catfish fillets. Cut fish into 1 inch chunks and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, then add onion & garlic and saute until onion is soft but not browned. Stir in the Bubba's Special Sauce, canned tomatoes (undrained), tomato juice, clam juice, lemon peel, basil, parsley and hot sauce (or red pepper flakes). If using fresh clams, add the additional 1/2 cup of bottled clam juice. If using canned clams, add the reserved 1/2 cup of liquid from the can. Stir everything in the pot to combine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for half an hour. Stir in the fish chunks, clams and pasta shells. Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork and the pasta shells are "al dente." Makes 4 hearty servings.

Zestfully yours,

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