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Port Of Call: Ensenada Mexico || Seafood Stew

This week I was reminded all over again of our visit with friends to Ensenada Mexico, baja CA {by making my version of one of their signature dish there, called estofado de mariscos} which is about 68 miles south of Tijuana {went there...all I have to say is, WOW! Nail biting}. While in Ensenada, we visited with their family and one thing we did a lot of is EAT!

Man, their breakfast is not only really early {like 7am OMG} but also really huge! A typical breakfast consists of frijoles {which is beans..}, tortillas, carne {beef/meat} Menudo {a tripe soup with yucca in it} and much more... I mean, the hubby and I were wide-eyed/mouth opened when we saw it.  Mind you, my breakfast most mornings consist of cut-up fruits with Greek yogurt - the hubby on the other hand barely likes to eat breakfast besides his cup of coffee and usually I force him to eat a bowl of mixed fruits some mornings... except on some weekends I make him either waffles or crepes.

Of course we had to eat...all of this food is always a waste on me because I'm not fond of a pile of food in front of me. I'm more of a grazer... you know, a tapas finger food type of girl. What made it even more insane, was two hours later, we were heading for lunch! They took us to this little adobe/front store style eatery {with some occasional flies looking to land in your food if not attentive}... for some seafood, and THERE I was introduced to this dish called 'estofado de mariscos'. The best way I can describe it is like a creamy version of cioppino; basically it's a seafood stew. But the way they served it over there is on clam shells loaded with melted cheese on top. Let me tell you! That was the best dish we had there, and of course being the foodie/self-proclaimed chef that I am... I came home and tried to make it. And this past week, I made my version and it's pretty rich and filling.

Here's my recipe: If you're a seafood lover like we are. You're going to love this dish. Please let me know what you think?;)

2tbsp butter
2 medium onions chopped
2 celery chopped
2 cans of 15oz coconut milk
As many garlic cloves as you'd like {I used 3 garlic cloves}
1 tbsp paprika
White pepper {since it's a white sauce, I like to use white pepper to keep it all in same color scheme;}
1 carrot chopped
1/2 cup gruyere cheese
1 cup cream
1 cup clam juice
1/2 lbs. clams
1/2 lbs. shrimps
1/2 lbs mussels
chopped cilantro or parsley depending on your preference for garnish.
*you can use any seafood of your choice.

Melt the butter in your saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the clam juice, the cream, the cheese and bring to a simmer until thickens, about 3 minutes or so. Add all your seafood, and simmer until the shrimp is pink and the clams are opened

Remove from heat. Spoon the stew into a large bowls, and garnish with chopped cilantro. If you love cheese, you can always sprinkle some more on top as well;)

Bon Appetit and happy Sunday!

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