SEAFOOD AT ITS BEST
Cioppino is always a pleasure to make and especially a pleasure to eat. This dish blesses you with an abundance of fresh seafood in one large bowl. This is absolutely one of my favorite dishes. I know I have many, but this classic seafood stew always satisfies my love for fish.
Cioppino is an Italian-American dish which originated in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Warf in the early days. The key to this dish is the freshness of the seafood. I recommend buying all your ingredients for this recipe from a fish market. Here in Chicago I go to one of the best in the city, Issacson L & Stein Fish Co. Inc. located at 800 West Fulton Market which is a couple blocks North of Randolph off of Halsted Street. You won’t find a better place to shop for fresh seafood.
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s not written in stone. Use your favorite fish for this dish but there are four main ingredients you must have, or at least I must have, that is shrimp, crab, mussels and clams. For the white fish you can use cod, sea bass, halibut, etc.. If you want to be extravagant add a little lobster. The types of seafood you use for this Cioppino recipe is entirely up to you. Enjoy
12 cherry stone clams, scrubbed
12 mussels, debearded
1/2 pound of medium sized shrimp, pealed and deviened leaving the tail on.
1/2 pound of sea scallops
1 pound of cooked crab meat 1 pound of whitefish, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large yellow onions, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbls of wine vinegar
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
2 Tbls of tomato paste
1 and 1/2 cups of dry white wine
1 tsp of dried oregano
1/4 tsp of dried thyme
1/4 tsp of rosemary
2 bay leafs
1 Tbls of red pepper flakes
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of freshly grated black pepper
1/4 cup of fresh parsley
In a large 5 or 6 quart pot sauté the garlic, celery, onions and bell peppers until tender, around 5 minutes.
Stir in wine vinegar, white wine, tomatoes and tomato paste.
Season with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary and red pepper flakes.
Add the mussels and clams. Cover and simmer for around 15 minutes until they open. Discard any unopened shells.
Add the shrimp, scallops, whitefish, cover and cook for 5 minutes more then and the cooked crab for 2 more minutes.
Serve garnished with parsley. Serves 6 to 8. Folks this dish looks complicated but it’s not. It’s so good it’s worth the time.
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