by Sarah Barnes
Cioppino is a seafood stew that is traditionally made with a combination of shellfish, tomatoes and a splash of wine. This rustic dish originated in San Francisco and was created by Italian fishermen in the late 1800's. Much like love this dish was created by giving and sharing and legend has it that when a fisherman came back to the wharf empty handed all of the other fishermen would pitch in what they could, the end result would become a Cioppino. We have added saffron for its aphrodisiac qualities and we suggest adding chili oil to get your blood pumping. It's a wonderful time of year to source fresh seafood and make a beautiful and delicious dish for your sweet heart.
Cioppino a sumptuous, seafood, feast for your love.
Serves 2 for dinner and possible leftovers for breakfast in bed.
- 1 lg Shallot diced
- 2 lg garlic cloves minced
- 1 med sized or 1/2 large fennel bulb diced
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 bay leaf
- 1 lg Roma tomato diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cups chicken or fish stock
- 1 pinch saffron in 1/4 cup hot water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 dozen cleaned clams
- 1 dozen cleaned mussels
- 4-6 ounce ling cod cut into bite size pieces
- In a large soup pot saute shallots, garlic and fennel with olive oil and salt until soft and slightly translucent
- Add bay leaf, tomato and saute for 2 min
- Deglaze with wine and reduce until 1/2 the liquid is gone
- Add tomato paste and stock bring up to simmer on medium/high heat
- Put 1 pinch saffron in 1/4 boiling water let steep for a couple of minutes then add to soup
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes
- Add mussels and clams
- cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add ling cod
- Simmer until clam and mussel shells open
- Taste and season to liking
- Garnish with fennel fronds and add a little spice with chili oil
- (pre make chili oil with 1/2 cup olive oil and 1-2 pinch dried chili's heat slowly and stir often for 15 minutes)
You can go over the top for your love by adding Dungeoness crab to this dish. Pre clean and cook crab before making Cioppino. Add crab legs for a delicious and dramatic effect. Don't be afraid to dig in! Love is messy.
Check out Mad Dogs for wonderfully fresh seafood and grab a baguette from True Grain to sop up all the tasty broth.