Thursday, May 19, 2022

Italian-ish Fish Stew @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: We were utterly thrilled to be able to see THE MUSIC MAN on Broadway last month. We'd had the tickets for several years (darn Covid!), and I never quite believed this would really happen. Before the show, we had dinner at Marseille, where I ordered the petite bouillabaisse, followed by (la grande) creme brulee. Today's recipe is inspired by a combination of David Tanis and Marseilles in NYC. The restaurant version had mussels and fish, I went with fish and shrimp.


1 diced white onion

4-5 yellow potatoes, peeled, halved, sliced

2 minced garlic cloves

¼ teaspoon crushed saffron

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste

½ teaspoon crushed fennel seed

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon tomato paste, optional

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 can or bottle fish or clam stock, plus water as needed

1 lb shrimp

1 lb white fish


Saute the onion in a little olive oil, until soft and beginning to brown. Then add the garlic and saute briefly. 

Whirl the fennel and saffron in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Add this to the onion, along with the bay leaf. Stir in the tomatoes, clam or fish broth, and white wine, and simmer for ten minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer until almost soft.

Clean the shrimp, halve if large, take the skin off the fish. (My husband’s job!)

Add the fish and shrimp to the stock and simmer until just cooked through. 

Serve with bread of your choice and a green salad. You could eat this while watching the movie...

A DISH TO DIE FOR, #12 in the Key West food critic mystery series, will be out on August 9, but is now available for preorder wherever books are sold

About A Dish to Die For:

Peace and quiet are hard to find in bustling Key West, so Hayley Snow, food critic for Key Zest magazine, is taking the afternoon off for a tranquil lunch with a friend outside of town. As they are enjoying the wild beach and the lunch, she realizes that her husband Nathan’s dog, Ziggy, has disappeared. She follows his barking, to find him furiously digging at a shallow grave with a man’s body in it. Davis Jager, a local birdwatcher, identifies him as GG Garcia, a rabble-rousing Key West local and developer. Garcia was famous for over-development on the fragile Keys, womanizing, and refusing to follow city rules—so it’s no wonder he had a few enemies.

 When Davis is attacked in the parking lot of a local restaurant after talking to Hayley and her dear friend, the octogenarian Miss Gloria, Hayley is slowly but surely drawn into the case. Hayley’s mother, Janet, has been hired to cater GG’s memorial service reception at the local Woman’s Club, using recipes from their vintage Key West cookbook—and Hayley and Miss Gloria sign on to work with her, hoping to cook up some clues by observing the mourners.

But the real clues appear when Hayley begins to study the old cookbook, as whispers of old secrets come to life, dragging the past into the present—with murderous results.


  1. Oh, lucky you! Broadway! Did you (ages ago) see the tv version of the Music Man with Mathew Broderick? Very well done with a somewhat different spin of the music man-less bombastic, but effective.
    Yummy stew. Thanks for a temptation.

  2. Looks absolutely delicious - as does the show! So glad you got to see it!

    1. Hello! "Anonymous" was me, Shari Randall.

  3. A birdwatcher and clues in a cookbook! A Dish to Die For sounds delicious, and so does your fish stew. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. That will be a huge hit around here! Glad you got to have that adventure too.

    1. thanks MJ, we consider ourselves very lucky to have had such a grand day!

  5. Thanks for the recipe - miss the fish stew from a local restaurant that closed due to Covid. Can't wait to read A Dish To Die For.
    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  6. Thank you so much!