Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jan 10th - Cioppino, the REAL San Francisco Treat

Despite it's mediterranean sounding name, this origins of this amazing amalgamation of fresh seafood and both french and americian mirepoix (flavour base, i.e. celery, carrot and onion) is firmly rooted in the Californian Bay Area. Known for it's abundance of seafood and shellfish, the Cioppino started as a fisherman's dish where everyone would 'CHIP' in some of their catch of the day. Similar to the French boulliabase, it is a soup/stew type of dish but the Ciopinno has far more variety of seafood and heart warming flavours. MMMMMM Lots of ingredients, yes, but if you're organised and enjoy the effort, you will be rewarded!

A la Tadich Grill, San Francisco CA
Serves 4-6

1/2 C. olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 small leek, white part only, chopped
1 small rib celery, chopped
1 T. fresh fennel (or dried seeds if you don't have)
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes with puree
1 T. tomato paste
2 C. water or fish stock (I'm out so we're going to use Japanese instant bonita dashi (fish broth) w/o MSG!)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. fresh basil, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano, minced
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
4 bay leaves
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. white fish, cut into 1/2 x 2-inch strips (we're using Ling Cod steak)
8 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
8 large scallops (or 12 small)
3/4 C. Sauvignon Blanc Wine
8 small clams in shell, scrubbed
4 oz. cooked shrimp meat
6 oz. cooked crab meat or
(3 lbs DUNGENESS crabs, we got them on sale, 2 small ones)
Italian parsley, chopped

Most fish mongers will chop up the dungeness crab for you. TnT Supermarket in Vancouver has a fantastic selection of fresh seafood. Many of the top flight restaurants buy their catch there. The Dungeness go on sale every so often and we try to grab some. D didn't know they chop it for you on request if ask but we took a seafood cooking course once at the Cookshop on 12th Ave and the chef of So.Cial in Gastown was teaching. He had bought all the seafood at TnT and gave us the tip.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in Dutch oven or large heavy pan over medium
heat. Add onions and sauté 1 minute without browning. Add carrot,
green pepper, leek, celery and fennel and sauté 5 minutes.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, basil,
oregano, thyme, bay leaves and cayenne pepper. Partially cover and
simmer over low heat 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (Sauce can be
covered and kept warm over low heat for several hours longer. Stir
occasionally.) Remove bay leaves.

Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add
garlic and cook 5 seconds. Immediately add fish, shrimp and scallops.
Sauté until just cook through, 2-4 minutes. Add seafood to sauce and
stir gently.

Pour wine into skillet and cook 30 seconds over medium heat, stirring
up any loose bits. Add clams to skillet. Cover and cook until clams
open, 2-6 minutes. Transfer clams as they open to sauce. Discard any
that do not open. Gently stir shrimp and crab meat into sauce. Cover
and cook cioppino until all seafood is hot, 2-3 minutes longer.

Ladle cioppino into large casserole or soup tureen or directly into
shallow soup plates. Garnish with chopped Italian Parsley.

Garlic toast is half a baguette halved and smeared with fresh garlic butter:

4T softened butter
2 cloved garlic finely minced
5T fresh parsley finely minced

Mix into butter.

0 Leave a / Read COMMENTs: