Saffron adds a floral note and lovely yellow hue to this hearty stew that recalls the cuisine of southern France. To complete the menu, set out a crusty loaf of French bread, a simple green salad and a bottle of the same wine you used in the stew. If your slow cooker doesn’t have a flameproof insert, use a sauté pan for the first step of the recipe, then transfer the contents of the pan to your slow cooker after you add the tomatoes.
Slow-Cooker Fish and Shrimp Stew with Saffron
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 fennel bulb, minced
- 1 leek, white and pale green part, very thinly sliced
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) fruity white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) bottled clam juice
- 1 can (14 oz./440 g) whole plum tomatoes with juice
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh orange juice
- 1/2 tsp. crushed saffron threads
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb. (500 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 lb. (500 g) firm white fish fillets such as cod, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Put a flameproof slow-cooker insert on the stove top over medium heat, then add the butter and warm until melted. Add the onion, fennel, leek and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the flour is fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and simmer until evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the clam juice, tomatoes, orange juice, saffron, 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a boil. Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher, then boil for 2 minutes.
2. Transfer the insert to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 4 hours. The fennel and leek should be tender and the mixture should be aromatic.
3. Uncover, add the shrimp, fish and parsley, and stir to mix well. Re-cover the cooker and cook on low for 1 hour. The shrimp and fish should be opaque.
4. Spoon into shallow individual bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other inspiring recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.