International Potlucks and Seafood Stew

Hi everyone! I am still reeling from the tasty dinner I had last night at my International Dinner Club.

When I lived in the City, I was a member of a small International dinner club that my friend Suzanne started. There were only 4 of us, but we single ladies would each prepare a dish from a particular country, dress up in the fashion of that country (you should have seen us with our moles and berets for French night-very embarrassing in retrospect) and eat a fabulous meal.

When I moved to the burbs and did not know many people, I gathered up random acquaintances who liked food, and started the club which has been running continuously for over five years now.

I am sad to say that there have been a few who left the group behind because the prospect of cooking, even for a potluck, was too pressure filled. I hope they will one day return, as we have a great time and miss them.

One of the great dishes last night was a Bouillabaise, a fancy French word for a seafood stew. Jessie made it but has not given us the recipe yet! Our friend, Lauren, gave me a recipe a few years ago that I love. She actually gave the dish to me after my 3rd and 4th kids were born and I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it was gone, no joke! Here it is with a few changes I have made (Thanks, Lauren):

Lauren’s Shrimp and Scallop Stew:

1 large chopped onion or 4 chopped scallions, white and green parts
2 TBS olive oil
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 medium peeled and diced carrot
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes with juice from a can
1 cup white wine
3/4 lb shelled shrimp (deveined-that means take the black slime off it’s back)
3/4 lb sea scallops
3 TBS coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions or scallions, stirring until wilted or translucent if using onions. Add garlic and saute. Add carrots, spices and salt. Lower heat to medium low and cook until carrots are tender. You may need to add a little water if it starts getting too dried out.

Add tomatoes and wine . Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium, cook 5 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken to a texture and taste that you like. Stir in Shrimp and scallops and cook until just opaque, about 4-6 minutes or until shellfish are done.

Remove from heat and add cilantro. Serve on top of rice. Enjoy!


2 Responses

  1. I love being a part of this int’l food club! I admit that there have been times that I was overwhelmed or uninspired by the thought of preparing a dish for one of our gatherings. BUT, without fail, I have always come out of the funk once I got going, (“Just Do it!”… momentum works!) and always had a great time eating our meal and sharing the meal with good friends. And EVERY time I found that I learned something while I was at it!

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