San Francisco Fresh Catch Stew

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It’s been foggy here in San Francisco and when it gets chilly in the summers I remember when I used to have fresh seafood on the wharf. But I didn’t really understand the meal until I visited Italy many years ago. I have this light a delicious stew that didn’t smell like fish and I went through an entire baguette taking up the juices. For years I could find this delicious concoction and I’ve finally recreated it with a California twist. It is basic of a classic Italian Tyrrhenian coast recipe “Cacciucco”. You’re going to need a large dutch over or a big old Saute pan with high sides for this.


1 Pound Red Snapper
1.5 Pounds of Mussels1/2 Pound Large Prawns
2.5 Cups of dry white wine
1 Small Can Diced Tomatoes (14 oz)
1 Green Bell Pepper Sliced
1 Small Chile of Choice Seeded and Chopped
Chopped Herbs 1/4 cup mixed and 1/4-1/2 chopped Parsley (I used Thyme, Basil, and Parsley)
1 Cup Chopped Carrots
1 Diced Onion
4 Cloves Sliced Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Loaf of French or Sourdough Bread (for soaking up the yummy of course)
* Click to ingredient to choose one


Before you start go through your mussels. If any are open and don’t close with a light tap throw them out.
Heat up the dutch over over the burner on medium with a couple tablespoons of olive oil in it.
Once it’s going throw the onion, chopped herbs, garlic, chile, carrots, and season with salt/pepper to taste.
Cook over medium-low heat until the onions brown. (about 5-10 minutes)
Add the white wine and cook for ten minutes at a low simmer.
Add the can of tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Ok, so here is the part you have to time right. The mussels and shrimp take 3-5 minutes and you don’t want them to overcook. The fish will take 7-10 minutes.
First break the fish up into 3 large pieces if it is a thick cut. (for thinner cuts this may not be an issue but use your head.
Bring the it to barely a simmer… I mean barely.
Lay the snapper in and simmer for 3 minutes.
Then quickly add the mussels and shrimp. Adjust the heat to keep the very light simmer while babysitting the pot.
4-6 minutes later the mussels should be open and the shrimp pink.
The fish should flake easily under a fork but you don’t want to overdo it. Make sure your shrimp are submerged in the liquid.
Take off the burner and transfer as much as you can into a serving vessel of your choice. I serve this family style from one large dish with a bunch of forks.