Tuesday, November 5, 2013

America's Best Home Cook - Here I Am!

A month or so ago I came across an application on Facebook for a Casting Call for a new reality TV show, America's Best Home Cook. I filled out the app being very apprehensive, anything online can be who knows what. At any rate I received a call from the show to go to the next step, submit a lengthy application, 5 of my best recipes with pictures. Wow, who the heck has pictures of what they prepare from memory on a daily basis.

So I got busy, went shopping, spent crazy amounts of money and started to recreate my recipes step by step. I will post one recipe per week as I wait to hear back from the show.

Everything I create is in "large" portions to feed my son, his friends and maybe freeze for a future meal. My first dish is a Seafood Stew that uses your choice of fresh fish and shellfish served in a savory broth with a Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Rouille that is out of this world and gives a great "pop" of flavor.

Liz’s Fish Stew with Roasted Red Pepper Rouille

Prep: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4 - 6 *this is one of my "smaller" meals


1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Cup Chopped Celery
2 Cloves Garlic Minced
2 Bay Leaves
2 Bottles Clam Juice or Fish Stock (I use bottles when in a rush)
1 Cup White Wine
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Fresh Thyme
1 Pd. New Baby Potatoes – Halved

Saute in Olive Oil, Onion & Celery until just soft, add garlic and sauté 1 minute. De-glaze the pan with white wine, add clam juice, bay leaves, salt and pepper and thyme, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, add potatoes and cook until you can just pierce the potato with a fork. Remove from heat.
*I use clam juice or lobster juice to save time when preparing this for a weekday meal, if you are a purist you can create your own stock with fishbones and shrimp shells.


1 Cup Jullienned Leeks
1 Cup Jullienned Fennel
½ Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 – 3 Tomatoes Chopped Coarsely
2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
½ Pd. Small Clams
½ Pd. Sea Scallops
1 Pd. Thick fish, halibut, scrod, haddock – Cut into 2” chunks
1 Pd. De-veined Shrimp in Shells

Bring the pan with the Broth to a simmer, add Fennel, Leeks, Tomatoes, Garlic, Parsley and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the seafood, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the seafood is done and the clams have opened. Let rest, covered, while you prepare the Rouille.


1 Large Red Pepper (Roasted, Blackened and Peeled)
½ Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 Cup Bread Cubes
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
Juice from 1 Lemon
Salt & Pepper
Dash Cayenne
½ - 1 Cup Good Quality Olive Oil

Toasted Slices Rustic Bread

In a food processor add all of the ingredients except the olive oil. Coarsely Chop until blended, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a smooth paste is achieved that can be spooned into the soup.

To Serve:

I like to take a slice of the toasted bread, cover with the rouille, place in the center of the bowl and surround with the fish stew. Or the Rouille can be served on the side and used to taste.

Bon Appetite!

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