Isn't it a really great feeling when you set out to do something that often ends up being a bigger commitment than originally thought and half way through you're not sure if you can pull it off, but you stick to it anyway and in the end the finished product is even better than you could have possibly ever imagined? That's precisely how I am feeling tonight! I set out on a whim last New Year's Day to blog about what I, a relatively normal person (who, admittedly, is obsessed with cooking) could realistically put together every night for dinner (for 1 year) that was easy, healthful, budget conscious and delicious. The goal, I guess, was to complete the challenge, contribute something that the readers would actually enjoy and perhaps gleen some useful information from, to have fun and to meet other fabulous foodies. Well, I completed the task (YAY!), I had more fun than I honestly would have thought, I met so many fantastic people and I hope you, the reader, enjoyed it too and perhaps took away a tasty recipe at the same time.
So, now that the year is over, what does that mean for "Amy's Dinner"? First and foremost, it means a cookbook!!! I hope. Beyond that, I don't know. I am certain that I want to continue cooking, writing recipes and photographing, but I am not sure exactly how to proceed with the blog. What do you think? As the reader you are the one who is important and I would like to get some input and receive suggestions from you. I have thought about gimmicks (a traditional or regional recipe from each state) but, honestly, that feels a little fake and forced. Perhaps I could write some more detailed instructions based on dishes requested by you, the reader. I could include a shopping list, additional photos, maybe a video or two and detailed instructions with corresponding photos. Does that sound interesting? Let me know....SERIOUSLY! Perhaps I should continue with another "365 Days of What I Have for Dinner". It's up to you! Feel free to comment here, send me an email to email@example.com or leave a comment on my facebook page. In any case, I think I'll take a few weeks off to regroup and maybe redesign the page a bit. I'll plan on being back the middle of January! Thank you for reading, it never ceases to amaze me that people are actually out there visiting. I am sooooo appreciative of each reader and commenter! Thanks, again, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
1 onion, halved and sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 box good quality fish stock (Kitchen Basics is a good brand)
1 can best quality crush or whole tomatoes
fennel frons, chopped
fresh parsley chopped
1/2 pound shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1 tilapia fillet, cut in 2 inch cubes
1 pound mussels, cleaned
4 crab claws, cracked
In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil and hot pepper flakes over medium high heat. Saute onions and fennel for about 10 minutes until cooked down and soft. Add garlic and saute for just a minute to release the aroma. Incorporate tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pot with white wine and let the alcohol cook down for about 3 - 5 minutes. Add fish stock, canned tomatoes and thyme, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let broth simmer for approximately 20 - 30 minutes.
Just before serving, turn the heat up until broth rapidly boils. Add crab claws, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Next add fish, shrimp and mussels. Nestle the seafood in the broth so that they are virtually covered. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes or until fish and shrimp is cooked through and the mussels have all opened (discard any which have not). Garnish with fennel frons and fresh parsley.