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                          SEAFOOD CHILI

1/4 C Olive oil 2 C chopped onions 2 Leeks, white part only, trimmed and chopped 1 large celery stalk, chopped 8 garlic cloves, minced 5 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican 35 oz Italian plum tomatoes, undrained if canned 16 oz Clam juice 2 C dry red wine 1/2 C "Santa Cruz Red Chili Paste" 5 tsp freshly toasted cumin seed 1 T. salt 1 tsp cayenne pepper 2 red Bell peppers,seeded, deveined, cut into 1/2 inch dice 12 Littleneck clams 12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded 1 1/2 lb Scrod or other lean white fish, cut into 1 inch pieces 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined 3/4 lb Bay scallops 1/2 C minced fresh cilantro (Chinese parsley, coriander)

Heat oil in heavy Dutch oven over low heat. Add onion, leeks, and celery. Cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and oregano, cook another 10 minutes then add tomatoes, breaking up with a spoon. Blend in the clam juice, wine, chili paste*, cumin, salt and cayenne. Bring to a boil, skimming occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 1 hour, skimming. Mix in bell peppers. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate overnight.

Bring chili to a boil. Adjust heat so that liquid simmers briskly. Skim well and adjust seasonings. Add clams and mussels. Cover and cook until shellfish open, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard any that do not open. Gently stir in scrod and shrimp. Cover and simmer for a minute. Add scallops, cover and simmer until fish is just opaque, about 2 minutes.

Ladle chili into bowls. Top with cilantro.

"Santa Cruz Red Chili Paste" is available from The Santa Cruz Chili and Spice Co., P.O. Box 177, Tumacacori, AZ 65640.

Serves 6 generously.

KEYWORDS: Spicy, meatless, make ahead, main dish

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