Cioppino

Cioppino

Over the weekend I was craving for some seafood stew.  I didn’t care that it was stew-inappropriate weather.  I’m one of those people that can eat soups and stews regardless how hot it is outside, as long as I’m craving it —I’m having it.  There’s a local bakery that makes AMAZING breads —got a French baguette to go with the meal.  It was heaven!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red chile pepper, crushed (using the tip of your fingers)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup of white wine
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (28-ounce) container of fish stock
  • 12 leaves of fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 10 fresh clams, scrubbed
  • 10 fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 6 fresh large sea scallops
  • 12 fresh uncooked prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 pound of fresh red snapper (but any firm white fish will do that looks fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/2 of a baguette, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to season

Preparation:

In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, add oil.  Then add onion, shallot, garlic and celery.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sauté until onion is soft, about 8-10 minutes.  Add bay leaf, rosemary, dried thyme, red chile pepper and tomato paste.  Sauté for about 2-3 minutes and then add white wine, diced tomatoes and their juices, fish stock and basil.  Cover and let it come to a gentle bubble.  Then reduce the heat to low.  Simmer until the flavors come together, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Center the oven rack.  Line foil on a baking sheet.  Arrange baguette on the baking sheet.  Brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt (very lightly) and pepper.  Bake for 5-7 minutes.  Then turn your broiler on.  Broil for 2-3 minutes or until it gets golden brown on the edges.

Back to the Cioppino, add clams and mussels to the pot.  Cover and cook until clams and mussels start to open (about 4-5 minutes).  Then add sea scallops, prawns and snapper.  Cover and simmer until scallops, prawns and snapper are just cooked through (about 4-5 minutes).  Check for seasoning and discard bay leaf.  Ladle stew and garnish with fresh chives.  Add bread to the bowl and serve.
 

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