Cioppino From My Very Own Kitchen!

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A few years ago while I was in San Francisco, a friend of mine insisted I try this seafood dish in the Italian District. When he described the dish, it didn’t take long for me to say yes! After returning, I’ve thought about trying to make this dish again. It is very similar to Bouillabaisse to me, but it’s the Italian version. Cioppino starts off with a very rich and thick tomato base, while Bouillabaisse is a fish stock base.

Well, I finally had some time of my hands to devote to attempting this dish! It really isn’t that time consuming, but it does take some time to prep all the shell fish. I really did want to add crabs to this dish, but I’m also feeding my toddlers with this stew, and I didn’t want to crack the crab claws for them. Many Cioppino recipes call for fish. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of fish in stew. So instead, I’m adding sea scallops. After having made this stew, I honestly think you can add whatever seafood you can find available.

Serving Size: 6-8

Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

Broth:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 8-oz. bottles clam juice
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb mussels (debearded, washed and scrubbed)
  • 1 lb clams (washed and scrubbed)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 lb sea scallops or 1 lb firm skinless white fish fillets (such as sea bass), cut into 1” pieces
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Toasted French bread, rubbed with garlic and olive oil (for serving)

To make the broth:

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes, stir until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, and cook until wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices, crushing with your hands as you add them. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Add clam juice, parsley, bay leaves, and 8 cups water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until flavors meld, 10–15 minutes more. Remove parsley sprigs and bay leaves. Set aside until ready to use.

To make the soup:

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots, stir often until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add mussels and clam and wine. Cover and allow to cook about 4-5 minutes  until shells open. Add in the reserved broth and bring to a simmer. Add scallops and shrimp. Cover and cook just until opaque, about 4 minutes. Stir in butter and season with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, ladle generous portions of seafood and broth into a bowl and serve with toasted bread!

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