Monday, April 12, 2010

Tomato Basil Seafood Stew & Talbott Chardonnay - Perfect Pairing?

If you love seafood stew, listen up because I've got a dish for you! This fabulous recipe for Tomato Basil Seafood Stew (pg. 177) from "Savor the Moment" is oh-so delicious, incredibly easy to make, and can double as a weeknight meal for the family or an al fresco dinner for four. Clams, shrimp and crab meat are simmered in a delicious tomato and white wine broth imbued with flavors of fennel, oregano, basil and garlic. Served with toasted slices of French bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with a garlic clove while still warm - what more could you ask for?

This particular night we opened a 2006 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay, a wine we had recently enjoyed at the Boca Bacchanal. Perhaps not an ideal pairing for the Seafood Soup but, hey, sometimes you just want what you want! Founded by the Talbott family over 25 years ago,Talbott Vineyards is dedicated to producing world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay, now in its 25th vintage, has become the defining wine in the Talbott portfolio of estate-grown Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

The wine was a lovely, light honey color with aromas of tropical fruit and honey emanating from the glass. Tasting it revealed rich, ripe flavors of mango, pineapple and light toasty oak with a long, honeyed finish. While delicious, this wine would pair better with a richer seafood dish such as lobster or sea bass. Next time, I'll pair this fabulous dish with a lighter-bodied wine without any oak influence, most likely a Rosé or a Sauvignon Blanc. And believe me, there will definitely be a next time!

The beautiful aqua accessories you see in the photos are from one of my favorite boutiques in town, the Linen Closet. The French tea towels by Anne de Solene are so pretty and really come in handy in the kitchen. The Isabella Adams napkin rings are one of my new favorite things as well! Linen Closet is having it's Spring Fling & Bling Event this Thursday, April 15th from 12-5pm. I'll be there selling copies of "Savor the Moment" so please stop by and say hello! Did I mention "Savor the Moment" makes the perfect Mother's Day gift? Hope to see you there - Cheers!

Tomato Basil Seafood Stew (pg. 177)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 (6 1/2 ounce) cans clams
2 1/2 cups bottles clam juice
2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 cup dry white wine
16 ounces uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 (6-ounce) can crab meat, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, oregano and fennel seeds and saute for 8 minutes or until the onions are tender. Drain the clams, reserving the liquid. Add the reserved clam liquid, bottled clam juice, tomatoes and wine to the saucepan. Increase the heat and cook for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Chop the clams and add to the saucepan with the shrimp and crab meat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the basil. Simmer for 2 minutes longer or just until the shrimp are opaque in the center. Season with salt, cayenne and black pepper. Serve immediately. Serves four.


  1. The seafood stew sounds amazing, very flavorful and a great wine pairing!

  2. Oh Stephanie, this stew looks heavenly! And that napkin ring is absolutely divine. :-)

  3. The food and the setting look fabulous!

  4. looks wonderful love seafood stews yummy

  5. The seafood dish is really delicious looking and I love the flavor combinations. The linens and accessories are BEAUTIFUL! ~LeslieMichele


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