Large bubbling pots of decadent seafood bubbling along side of stewed tomatoes are just the thing to warm the heart until spring arrives. Until then I can enjoy serving large bowels of Cioppino which originated in Italy and perhaps Portugal making its way to America around the 1800s in San Francisco. I have seen lots of recipes on line but by its very nature Cioppino is what ever seafood you might have available chopped up and chipped into a pot and cooked into a stew. Of course being an Italian dish, tomatoes always find a way into the bubbling pot of goodness from the sea. This is how I usually prepare Cioppino quick enough for any week night dinner but deserving of being of a place at the table even on special occasions.
2-3 T. extra virgin olive oil for cooking
1 small onion peeled and diced
4 c. prepared chicken stock
1 c. water
1 15 oz. can diced (basil and garlic) tomato’s and the juice
4-5 lb. mixed sea food fresh or thawed washed
(suggested 1 lb. each: tail on deveined shrimp, little neck clams, mussels, cubed fish fillets such as cod and scallops )
1/2 c. red wine *most rules say white but I prefer red
2-3 teaspoons Old Bay or to taste
Black pepper, garlic powder and dash ground cayenne pepper to taste
Garnish with fresh green herbs (parsley or chives) or dried if fresh are not available
Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large pot
Sauté diced onion about 5 min or until tender
Add stock, water, and tomato’s and bring to a gentle boil
In the mean time rinse and clean all sea food checking for shell fish that has opened and discard also remove small “foot” if using scallops.
Slowly Add sea food to boiling pot and return to a gentle boil
Add wine, Old Bay, pepper, garlic powder and ground cayenne pepper.
Adjust seasoning to taste through out cooking remember as water evaporates broth may become stronger adding more water may be necessary.
Continue to boil until fully cooked about 10-15 minuets. Shrimp should no longer be white and fish should no longer be translucent. Discard any shell fish that did not open
Garnish with fresh herbs