This fisherman stew was inspired  by the local cuisine found along the coastal city of Ancona, Italy. This rustic dish simmers the seafood in a garlicky tomato sauce and  is served with a crusty bread. Many Italian coastal towns have their own version of this dish, which often features the catch of day. Brodetta was original conceived by fisherman to use up the smaller fish that they did not sell at the market that day.  While brodetto is similar to the  classic French  fish  stew, bouillabaisse, traditional  Italian recipes call for 13 fish as in recognizing Jesus and his 12 apostles in attendance of the Last Supper. The stew can be made with any type of fish, shellfish, including mussels and clams and either with octopus or calamari (squid). The key to making this particular recipe is to cook the shellfish and fish in stages. If you are shopping at your local markets and cannot find the listed seafood in this recipe, always choose sustainable varieties that are in season.

Serve 6

6 (1-inch-thick) ciabatta slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
5 garlic cloves, divided
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
One 32-ounces jar tomato sauce
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 pound mussels, scrubbed
12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
12 ounces cod fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
12 ounces skin-on snapper fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
10 ounces raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 ounces cleaned squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preheat broiler to high with oven rack 4 inches from heat. Brush bread with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Broil until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Rub toast with 1 garlic clove and keep warm.

Thinly slice remaining 4 garlic cloves. Heat 1/4 cup oil over moderately high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and sliced garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and vinegar; bring to a simmer. Add mussels and clams; cover and cook until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Remove mussels with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. (Discard any that do not open.) Cover pot and cook until clams open, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove clams with a slotted spoon and place in bowl with mussels.

Season cod, snapper, and shrimp with salt. Add to pot, cover, and reduce heat to moderate; simmer 6 minutes. Add squid, cover, and cook until fish are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley, mussels, and clams. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until shellfish are heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and garlic toast.


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El Quim’s de la Boqueria Fried Egg with Baby Squid

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This summer I discovered frying eggs in olive oil, only because my pantry was out of butter, vegetable spray, and vegetable oil. I was even out of lard! My stores were low due to traveling so much.  It was so good! The crispy edge of the fried egg was so divine and I thought I alone had discovered a previously unknown culinary treat.

Well, my bubble was burst when I visited Barcelona this summer. I had the opportunity to visit La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Spain, perhaps one  of the best markets in the world for foodies, and people watching.The market has been a fixture in the region since the 1200s, during the time of the Crusades. And it was at La Boqueria that I realized that my newly discovered way of frying eggs in olive oil was a  technique that the Spaniards have embraced for,  centuries upon centuries.

It will take you at least two weeks to go through every stall at La Boqueria. The tantalizing smells of food cooking and the fresh fruits and vegetables,  fresh meats and seafood and not to mention the dazzling array of spices was treat to behold.

But one dish that caught my fancy was signature dish served by  El Quim at the market ,  Spanish Fried Eggs with Baby Squid. Trust me, it is to die for. I mean, it was a pleasure on the palate. I could not wait to return home to my kitchen and put my spin on this delectable dish.

Although I had difficulty finding fresh baby squid, for my version of the dish, I used what I could find in my local supermarket. It was the Goya Brand of Squid Fillets in Black Ink. Not as tasty, but easily usable when you have no choice in the matter. Locally, the Goya tin of squid cost about $1.50, but they are available at might be able to find individually quick frozen (IQF) baby squid that are whole squid and  are cleaned and ready for cooking. On another note, using baby squid can elevate paella into a gourmand’s delight,  and they are just as delicious stuffed with rice, pine nuts and mint.

This dish is quick and simple and perfect for breakfast, brunch or a light meal. You simply cannot go wrong!


Serves 1

1 large egg
3.5 ounces of small baby squid (click here for the resource)
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 small red chili pepper, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for frying
Maldon salt (click here for the resource)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat.  Add plenty of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Fry the egg. When done, remove to a plate, set aside and keep warm.

While the oil is still hot,  add the garlic and the chili pepper and fry quickly until golden brown. Add the small squids and saute them for about 1 minute or until white in color.
To serve, add the cooked squid on top of the fried egg and sprinkle with Maldon salt and black pepper. Garnish with the chopped parsley. Parenting Team FC Contributor