creamy seafood stew
photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 6 servings.

½ pound uncooked medium shrimp,
peeled and deveined
½ pound bay scallops
3 tablespoons butter, divided
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream

½ cup dry sherry
1 pound fresh crabmeat, drained and picked of shells
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven, sauté shrimp and scallops in 1 tablespoon of butter until shrimp begin to turn pink. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, sauté the celery, red pepper, and onion in remaining butter until tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until blended. Gradually stir in milk, cream, and sherry. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in crabmeat and remaining ingredients. Return seafood to the pan; heat through.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.