This year’s Cooking for Solutions event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium was

Photo from LegalAdmin

the best one yet.  This event is part of the aquarium’s educational outreach to help all of us make good choices with the seafood that we buy.  Many top name chefs participate and the grand tasting in the Aquarium is one of the highlights of the weekend.  Here is the recipe I did this year.  Cooking for Solutions will be held again May 19 through 21, 2011. To find out more visit this link:

I hope to see you there!


Serves 4

Based on the classic soup/stew of the French Mediterranean.  Any sustainable fish or shellfish that you like can be used.

1 cup dry white wine

3 cups fish, shrimp or chicken stock or water

3 pounds Manila clams, scrubbed

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium leeks, white part only, halved, rinsed and sliced (about 2 cups)

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced (about 2 cups)

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

3 cups fired roasted canned diced tomatoes with juice

1 large poblano chile, charred, peeled, seeded and chopped

1-1/4 pounds Alaskan cod or haddock

1/2 pound large (16 – 20) gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rouille (recipe follows)

Lemon Wedges

Grilled rustic bread slices

In a stock pot heat the wine and stock to a boil and add the clams. Cover and shake and cook for 3 minutes or so or until the clams have open.  Remove the clams and set aside and reserve the stock.

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the leeks and fennel for a couple of minutes or until just softened. Do not brown.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute to remove its raw taste.  Add the tomatoes, poblano and reserved stock and simmer for a few minutes.  Add the cod and shrimp and cook for 2 – 3 minutes more or until just cooked through.  Be careful not to overcook.  Both should be slightly translucent in the center.

Add the reserved clams to reheat.  Add salt and pepper to taste and divide among 4 bowls.  Place a dollop of rouille in center for guests to stir in and pass lemon wedges and grilled bread.


1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads

1 teaspoon hot water

1 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade

1/4 cup roasted, peeled and chopped red bell pepper (homemade or drained bottled)

1/4 cup or so extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice or to taste

1 – 2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Salt to taste

Sprinkle saffron over hot water and let stand for a few minutes.  Add to blender with remaining ingredients and blend till smooth.  Best made at least an hour in advance for flavors to develop.

John Ash © 2010