Fruits de mer à l’Armorícaíne, or a Brittany-style seafood stew, is a seafood dish for the lenten season, brought to you by the wonderful Chef Samira of France. As she explains in her cookbook Food Unites the World, “Armorica” is the ancient Latin name for Brittany, where this dish was first created.
Brittany-Style Seafood Stew
- 4 tbsp clarified butter, vegetable oil, or half butter and half olive oil
- 1 cup (140 gr) chopped shallots
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp firmly packed chopped fresh tarragon or 2 tsp dried tarragon
- 4 tbsp (110 ml) Cognac
- ¼ tsp ground red pepper
- 1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine
- 1 cup (250 ml) fish or chicken stock
- 1 lb (½ kilo) tomatoes, preferably Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream or half and half
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb (½ kilo) large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 lb (½ kilo) fish fillets (sea bass, perch, cod), cut into large chunks
- 1 lb (½ kilo) scallops
- 1 lb (½ kilo) crayfish, shelled (optional)
- 1 lb (½ kilo) mussels (optional)
- chopped parsley for garnish
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cook method: simmer
1. Melt butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in garlic and cook for one minute, stir in tarragon and ground red pepper and cook for a few seconds.
2. Add Cognac and boil until evaporated. Add wine and cook until reduced to about four tablespoons. Mix in stock, tomato paste and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for twenty minutes.
3. Add cream or half and half and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, taste for salt and pepper.
4. Increase heat to medium, add seafood to sauce, cover and bring to a boil. Cook for two minutes or until opaque.
5. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Transfer to a large and deep serving dish and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot with rice or noodles.
Notes: Sauce can be prepared hours in advance. Just before serving, bring sauce to simmer over medium heat, add seafood to sauce and cook as directed above. The dish can be made with one kind of seafood if desired. Make the sauce as directed and use about half pound (250 gr) per person of your choice of fish fillets, scallops, mussels, crayfish, lobster, or shrimp.
Looking for more Lenten recipes? Try our Roman Recipe for Baccalà e Puntarelle (Salt Cod and Chicory).
By Peg Kern
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