This is the delicious little recipe I made standing waist-deep (well, almost) in water at Watsons Bay, outside Doyle’s Restaurant, in Sydney. Serve it on its own.

Ingredients

  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 × 400 g (14 oz) cans tomatoes, and their juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 2.5 litres (4 pints) hot fish stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • dash of Tabasco sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1.5–2 kg (3½–4 lb) mixture of seafood, to include any of the following: lobster tails
  • few bits of squid – ‘hoods’ or tentacles, chopped
  • mussels, scrubbed
  • fillets of red snapper or any white, firm-fleshed fish
  • some cubes of tuna
  • prawns, peeled and back vein removed
  • crab, cleaned and chopped into, say, 8 pieces, depending on size
  • scallops, shells and crescent-shaped muscles removed
  • crayfish, gutted, washed and central tail piece removed, then cut in half

Method

Melt the butter in a very large deep pan and fry together the onions, carrots and celery, seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, for about 2–3 minutes, or until they start to go golden-brown. Add the tomatoes and their juice, tomato purée, hot fish stock and bay leaves. Bring to the boil. The liquid should have a wonderful orangey hue; it shouldn’t be as thick as custard, but not thin. Tip in the Tabasco sauce, wine and all the seafood. Stir and allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes. Fish out and discard the bay leaves before serving.

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