Tuscan Seafood Chowder

by Melody Kettle

Recipe courtesy of Chef Ryan DePersio, owner of Bar Cara and Fascino.

1 cup mirepoix (small dice of carrots, onions, celery)
¼ cup of small dice of fennel
½ cup of diced potatoes
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
¼ cup of bail julienne
6 Little Neck Clams
6 P.E.I. Mussels
4 Black Tiger Shrimp
¼ cup Peekytoe Crab meat
1 cup white wine
1 cup brandy
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp fennel seed (ground)

Place all spices in a sauté pan and toast on medium heat for four minutes, constantly stirring. Set aside on a plate until cool, then grind.

Place oil and butter in a large pot on high heat. When butter begins to foam add mirepoix and fennel and sweat on medium heat for ten minutes. Add spice mixture, potatoes, garlic, clams, mussels, and shrimp.

Deglaze with wine and brandy, then cover. When clams begin to open add cream and cook on low heat for five minutes. Add crab meat and basil. Serve.