Lilly Higgins: Seafood stew with midweek convenience and a weekend flavour

Try to find locally sourced seafood for this simple, delicious stew if you can

It is important to support local food producers

It is important to support local food producers

 

This stew has the convenience of a midweek meal that comes together quickly and easily, but has the taste of a weekend treat. It’s just perfect with a few slices of good crusty white bread or toast rubbed with garlic. 

I rarely cook with prawns. I would say once a year, as much as I love them. I always try and source locally produced prawns as they can have a very complicated and murky origin. The Seaspiracy documentary, though not perfectly balanced, is a good place to see how some seafood lands in our shops. It reinstates how important it is for us, as consumers, to support local food producers and know where our food is coming from.

Irish mussels are a more sustainable and affordable option and are widely available. I cook the mussels separately to avoid getting any grit or sand in the stew, then just remove the shells and tip the plump, cooked mussels into the stew. All of these flavours are delicious together, and the aioli adds a touch of creamy indulgence. This isn’t complicated, made-from-scratch aioli but rather a flavoured mayonnaise. 

The chopped tomatoes here should be very finely minced, rich, red and luxurious. Not orange cubes of tomatoes in water. So if your tinned tomatoes are a little lacklustre, finely chop them and add a little tomato puree to amp it up. 

I’ve used flat-leaf parsley, but basil is also delicious, if a little dominant. Add a handful of salty black olives if you wish, to bring it all together. It’s fast food that tastes amazing. 

Recipe: Butterbean stew with mussels and prawns

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