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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seafood Pot Pie - Crust = Improvised Seafood Stew with Boiled Potatoes

Sometimes I am inspired when watching Food Network though I do laugh along with those who poke fun of Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) and her slightly Martha Stewartish condescending sounding ways. However, I know she offers some wonderful recipes like...

Thing is, sometimes her recipes may call for ingredients that aren't as readily available as she claims or they are a bit of price range.  For the Seafood Pot Pie, I was prepared to splurge and had a whole lobster steamed at the seafood counter.

Once home, I put him on the counter and our yellow Lab, Maddy, put her nose up in the air while rapidly sniffing and trying to identify the smell.  My younger son danced around with the lobster, smiling, and saying, "I am not a crook," in his best Nixon-ish voice.

Who knew one lobster could offer so much entertainment on his own?

Next, I dismantled the creature and though his shell fought valiantly, I was able to remove all tail and claw meat.

Soon I stray from the recipe.  I soften the fennel and onion but add celery and some mushrooms.  Why not?

I coat the softened vegetables with flour and let them cook for a few minutes to ease the taste of the flour before adding clam juice and fish stock.

Time to add in the seafood;  shrimp, lobster and scallops, oh my!

All cooks together, the sauce thickens and the smell permeates the kitchen.  Here's where the detour begins - the crust.  I have a hard time with all things pastry and so I am not at all happy with my own crust, and though I keep a stash of store bought in the refrigerator it is beyond the expiration date and thus a stew is born.

Julia Child has said things in her life about cooking with confidence and basically that what happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen.  I've also read about chefs and cooks who create dishes based on "mistakes" they have made.  No apologies.  And so, tonight a new dish was born in our house - a seafood stew that was served over red boiled potatoes.

I accept further proof the family loved the meal and I have left them feeling Fed Well by the small amount of leftovers.  Sometimes the lack of evidence is noteworthy proof.

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