Category: Uncategorized

By Cal Elliot, chef/owner of Rye in Williamsburg

My grandfather worked in Alaska in canneries and on boats trapping fish before Alaska became a state. He later sold fish for a living in the Seattle area. I worked on a commercial fishing boat gill-netting sockeye & silver salmon on Bristol Bay, Alaska and long-lining Pacific cod from 1990 to 1999. I guess my point would be that seafood has played a big role in my life & my family’s life.

Here is my recipe for Fisherman’s Stew. This is a versatile stew – use any mild, fresh, local fish and shellfish you can get your hands on. The stew is currently on Rye’s Menu if you ever want to check it out!

Fisherman’s Stew

Cal Elliot, chef/owner of Rye restaurant in Williamsburg, has a long history with the sea. He serves up his Fisherman's Stew.

Ingredients (Serves Eight)

    • 1 pound cooked chorizo (4-6 medium sized links), medium dice (you can use more if desired)
    • 1 # 10 (3 quart) can peeled tomato, drained, seeded and diced  (this should add up to about 4 cups of diced tomato after draining and seeding)
    • 3 Qts Clam Broth
    • 4 red bell peppers, large dice
    • 3 large shallots, medium dice (3 shallots)
    • 5 cloves garlic paste
    • pinch cayenne
    • pinch saffron
    • 2 cups white wine
    • 1.5-2 Qts chicken stock
    • sachet thyme & bay leaf

Any or all of the following:

    • 1LB mussels
    • 1/2 lbs head on shrimp
    • 1/2 lbs scallops
    • 1/2 lbs lobster (if you’re on the East Coast) or 2lbs Dungeness crabs (if on West Coast)
    • 1/2 lbs either Halibut, Cod, or Wild Striped Bass (or any fresh, local mild fish)


1. Brown chorizo and 1 tbsp olive oil in large rondeau over medium heat (about five minutes). Remove chorizo and reserve once the sausage has taken on good color. Do not clean pan.

2. To the same pan add shallots. Sweat in olive oil, adding garlic paste when almost cooked (about five minutes)

3. Add chorizo & red pepper to shallot/garlic mix and cook (about five minutes)

4. Add white wine, saffron and cayenne. Simmer to reduce until almost dry (depending on your stove and pan, this could take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it to avoid over-reducing.)

5. Add clam broth and simmer to reduce by half (about 20-30 minutes, depending on stove and pan. Keep an eye on it to avoid over-reducing. Taste as you reduce. Move to the next step when it’s reduced by about half and it’s got nice body to the flavor.)

6. Add tomato & chicken stock and bring to a simmer

7. Add fish and shellfish, cover, and continue to simmer for about five minutes.

8. Serve in a bowl with some roasted garlic baguette


Rye is located at 247 S. 1st Street in Williamsburg. They’re hosting a special three-course New Year’s Eve meal ($75), including a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Oysters available a la carte. Call 718.218.8047 to reserve.

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