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Cioppino

Serves: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more if you like it spicy
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • ½ pound littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • ¼ pound mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
  • 1½ pounds firm-fleshed fish fillets such as cod, halibut, or salmon, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • ½ pound large uncooked shrimp, tails-on, peeled and deveined
  • Handful of parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 loaf of sourdough or your favorite rustic loaf bread


Procedures:

An Italian-American classic and a San Francisco tradition, Cioppino owes its origins to the hearty seafood stews found up and down the coast of Italy. It’s a great do-ahead dish for feeding a crowd. The tomato broth can be made the day before, refrigerated, and will taste even better the next day when you heat it and add your seafood.

To make the broth, heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the butter foams, add the onion, and fennel, and sauté stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, bay leaf, saffron threads, and a pinch of salt, and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes (watch your heat—don’t brown the garlic.) Add the white wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes with their juice, and stock. Bring to a boil; reduce to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until broth begins to thicken, about 20 minutes.

Just before you are ready to eat, stir the clams and mussels into the simmering broth. Cover the pot and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Stir in the fish and shrimp, and cook until fish and shellfish are cooked through, an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Discard any clams or mussels that don’t open. Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and parsley. Serve with thick slices of crusty bread to mop up the broth.

Photography © 2016 Joslyn Baker

by Chef Mia Chambers

 
 
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