Cioppino

There are a few dishes that seem to be very similar despite being from different countries.  For example, cioppino and bouillabaisse are twins in my mind, both of them difficult to spell and both delicious tomato based seafood pots of YUM.  When I first moved to San Francisco, I had not realized that cioppino was native to the city.  While it took me a good year to finally get around to trying it, I was not disappointed by the time the moment came!

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While it was delicious, it never really made it into my cooking repertoire because of the all the ingredients needed, so I’d recommend saving it for a fancy date night at home, or when you really feel like you need a little bit of San Francisco.

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I ended up modifying this recipe quite a bit just based on what was at my local grocery fish counter, the lesson being, you can really adjust the types of seafood you use.  Just make sure to cook all the shellfish first and then the fish and scallops.

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a 28-to 32-ounce can whole tomatoes including juice, puréed coarse
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 10 small hard-shelled clams, scrubbed well
  • 1/4 pound medium shrimp, shelled, leaving tails and first joint intact
  • 1/4 pound sea scallops
  • 1 pound scrod or other white fish fillet, (I got orange roughy and it was great)
  • 1/2 bag of mussels
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Directions

  1. In a heavy kettle (at least 5 quarts) cook garlic in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened. Add pepper flakes and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened. Add vinegar and boil until evaporated. Add wine, oregano, and bay leaf and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in tomato purée and tomato paste and bring to a boil.
  2. Add mussels clams and simmer, covered, 20-30 minutes, checking often and transferring clams and mussels as they open with tongs to a bowl (discard unopened ones).
  3. Add shrimp, scallops, and fish to soup and simmer, covered, 5 minutes, or until seafood is just cooked through. Stir in gently clams and mussels, and sprinkle with parsley.

Adapted from Epicurious Cioppino recipe

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