Monday, March 18, 2013

Recipe Of The Day: Caldos De Siete Mares (Seafood Soup)

This twist on a classic Rick Bayless recipe was given to us an old friend of ours Grandmother, who cooked for our entire neighborhood for many years. She took her Great Grandmothers Recipes and mixed them with updated ones she found helpful at either time saving or using ingredients she could easily use to replace some hard found ones (which arent so hard to find any more.) We used to get requests left and right for this recipe, which has been posted on our site for years. Unbeknownst to us, the recipe was mislabeled and thus was not giving the proper credit to the two individuals who helped to put it all together.
Rick Bayless & Ingrid Lopez-Osuna. Sorry for any confusion.

Sauce Base:
3 cloves Garlic, unpeeled
8 medium-large dried Gualillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
½ tsp dried oregano
A pinch of Cayenne powder
¼ tsp black pepper
A pinch of Ancho Chile Powder
A pinch of cumin
1 TBS vegetable or olive oil

3 quarts fish or chicken stock
2 large sprigs Cilantro (washed thoroughly & stems removed)
Kosher salt to taste
A little sugar, if necessary
20 medium-large shrimp
6 small boiling potatoes (medium dice)
2 cups vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots or squash
4 ears of corn cut in half,

1 lb tightly closed fresh mussels or clams, well scrubbed
12 oz boneless skinless red snapper filets (cut into ½ inch pieces)
2/3 cup finely chopped white onion (Garnish)
¾  cup loosely packed, chopped cilantro (Garnish)
1 large lime, cut into wedges (Garnish)

Sauce Base (1 cup):
Roast the unpeeled garlic directly on a heavy skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until soft.
Let the garlic cool off then peel it.
While the garlic is roasting, toast the chiles; 1 or 2 at a time, open them flat and press down firmly on the hot surface with a spatula.
In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking.
Drain and discard the water.
Combine the oregano, black pepper and cumin in a food processor or blender, along with the drained chiles, garlic and 1/2 cup of broth.
Blend to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring the sides as needed.
Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl.

Heat the oil in a heavy, very large (8-quart) pot over medium-high.
When hot enough to make a drop of the puree really sizzle, add the puree all at once and stir constantly until it reduces to a thick paste, about 5 minutes.

The Soup Broth:
Add the broth to the soup pot and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes.
Taste and season with Kosher salt and a little sugar, if necessary, to balance any bitterness.
Finishing the Soup:
Peel the shrimp leaving the tail.
Add the potatoes.
Simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are nearly tender, about 5 - 7 minutes.
Add the diced vegetables, cook 3 minutes, then add the corn, mussels or clams and simmer until the shellfish open, about 2 minutes.
Add the sliced red snapper (or whatever fish you are using,) cook 2 minutes and then stir in the shrimp.
Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Serve the soup in large, warm bowls with the onion / cilantro mixture and other garnishes on the side.


  1. Great recipe,

    Unlike bone marrow,menudo,and fajitas,which are now high priced New York
    restaurant menu items.Lets keep this wonderful dish to ourselves.

  2. I love this soup! I add much seafood and even potatoes you think thats a good thing?

  3. I actually really love this i also add carrots and potatoes and different seafood, wonderful!!!!

  4. I am sooo greatful for this recipe...I am alergic to hisband LOVES siete mares, I made this for him today for his Birthday...he ate three bowls and rhwn tell me "amor mio sacastes un 10!" I thank you so much for this recipe!

  5. Besides the vegetables that are listed on the recipe. Chayote, carrots and cabbage can be added too. In small pieces.