Sunday, November 7, 2010

From San Francisco to Jersey: Cioppino

It's been 5 years since I've lived in the Northeast and the last week with thick frost on my car each morning has taken some getting used to, to say the least. This weekend I was craving something warm and cozy and a San Francisco classic seemed to be just that. We wanted to make something delicious, but not too heavy so when Cioppino came to mind, it sounded perfect.

I've been wanting to make Cioppino for a while now but it is a bit expensive depending on which types of fish you use. Since my mama was here and it was a Saturday night we decided to go all out and try to stay as true to form to the San Fran style as possible, therefore we included crab, scallops, halibut, shrimp, and clams. I am so happy we went for it because it was sooooo yummy! I have to say it may be the best meal I've ever made!

If you've never heard of it, Cioppinno is a type of fish stew. It includes an assortment of fish and is in a tomato based broth. If you are looking for a more budget friendly option, you can cut out the crab which will save a good chunk of money (the crab we got was around $15 a pound) and you will still have plenty of hearty fish to enjoy. To round out the meal serve with fresh bread such as sourdough.

Cioppino: San Francisco Style Seafood Stew

4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 28oz can whole plum tomatoes, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 lb crab legs (thawed if frozen)
18 small clams, such as little necks, scrubbed
1lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
3/4lb sea scallops, tough muscle removed (asked your fish monger if you aren't sure where to find the tough muscle)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

Cook garlic, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes with salt and pepper in oil in an 8 quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, and broth and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

While stew is simmering, hack crab leg through shell into 2 to 3 inch pieces with a large heavy knife. Add crab pieces and clams to stew and simmer, covered, until clams just open, 5 to 10 minutes, checking every minute after 5 minutes and transferring opened clams to a bowl with tongs or slotted spoon. (Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes). Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot and gently stir in parsley and basil. Serve immediately in large soup bowls.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet 2002, found at epicurious


  1. This sounds delish! I like the new look of the blog too! xo

  2. It was wonderful! I love coming to The Farmhouse for dinner. Great food and the best company. XOXO Mom