Rosie’s Cioppino

Rosie's Cioppino
Yields 6
Cioppino is a fish stew popularized in San Francisco in the mid to late 1800s by immigrants. After a hard day’s work, the fishermen would gather and throw different pieces of fish and shellfish into a communal pot for supper. There was no set recipe. It was the daily catch. A cioppino comes about from the various ethnic tastes of its inventors and the largesse of the ocean. Depending on whatever the ocean is serving up, cioppino is a happily versatile dish. Clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and some type of firm white fish can all be used. It’s a matter of preference and availability.
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Ingredients for Step 1
  1. 2 Tbsp. peanut oil
  2. 3 anchovies, minced
  3. 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  4. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 onion, chopped
  6. 1 celery stalk, chopped
  7. 1 shallot, minced
  8. 1 bell pepper, chopped
  9. 4 fresh bay leaves or 2 dried
  10. 1 cup Chardonnay
  11. 1 8-oz. bottle clam juice
  12. 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
  13. 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
Ingredients for Step 2
  1. 1 qt. chicken stock
  2. 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  3. 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  4. 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  5. 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  6. ½ lb. scallops
  7. ½ lb. firm white fish filets, cut into chunks
  8. 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  9. 1 Tbsp. peanut oil
  10. ½ lb. shrimp
  11. ½ cup Chardonnay
Ingredients for Step 3
  1. 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  2. 1 shallot, minced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. ¼ cup chopped parsley
  5. 1 dozen littleneck clams
  6. 1 dozen mussels
  7. 1 cup Chardonnay
  8. 8 oz. crab meat
  1. Heat oil in large stockpot over medium low heat. Add anchovies and red pepper flakes. Stir about a minute to dissolve the anchovies. The anchovies do not add any “fishy” taste to cioppino. They impart a pleasing nutty flavor. Add garlic, onion, celery, shallot, pepper, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until onion is translucent. Add 1 cup Chardonnay and simmer 2 minutes. Add clam juice, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and herbs. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook over low heat for 2 hours. For the second hour, leave the lid partially open. Stir occasionally and let the stew thicken.
  1. In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter and 1 Tbsp. peanut oil over medium high heat. Add scallops and fish, cook a minute, then add shrimp and cook for another minute. Deglaze pan with ½ cup Chardonnay and pour everything into the stew pot.
  1. In same skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter and add garlic, shallot, and parsley. Cook over medium low heat for a minute. Toss in clams and mussels and a cup of Chardonnay. Cook until shellfish open, then pour into cioppino.
  1. Ladle soup into bowls, topping each with a spoonful of crab meat. Serve with a nice loaf of artisan bread to sop up every bit of the briny goodness.
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