MMMmmmm Food!

MMMmmmm Food!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

San Francisco Cioppino!

The past few days had such strange weather!  Tuesday it was pretty warm in the morning, then cold, then rain, then sun and wind  - maybe it'll snow tomorrow.  Anyway... there was a moment yesterday where I felt like I was down by the water in San Francisco - hence making Cioppino!  

You can use any combination of seafood/shellfish here!  Use what you like - my choices were: little neck clams, shrimp, scallops, lobster tail and snapper.

The List:

1 medium yellow onion 
2 tbsp olive oil 
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 - 14 oz. can diced san marzano tomatoes (purée in food processor!)
2 cups white wine (sauvignon blanc)
1 cup clam juice
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
3-4 sprigs thyme
pinch of saffron
1 lemon
Italian flat leaf parsley
Chop up the onion and in a large pot with olive oil & butter, sweat it for 5-6 minutes over a medium flame.
Add the red pepper flakes and minced garlic to the pot, cook for one minute.
Next, add the white wine, puréed tomatoes, clam juice, oregano, bay leaf, thyme leaves, saffron and 3 thick slices of lemon (remove seeds).  Let this simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  You want the liquid to reduce a bit.

The Seafood!

10 little neck clams
1 lobster tail
4 diver sea scallops
1/2 lbs. snapper
10-12 shrimp

(This is for 2 people... so figure that half of those things above will go into one bowl)
Remember to remove the "foot" of the scallop!
Cut the snapper into bite size chunks.  Keep the seafood cold until liquid is ready. 
Use a very sharp, heavy knife to cut the lobster tail in half.  I like to cut the "belly" side first, then flip and cut the harder shell.  Just make sure to use a good knife!  This can be a little tricky - watch out fingers!
Rinse off the clams under cold water incase there is any grit on them.
The seafood is easy to cook in batches - once the liquid is ready, it only takes about 10 more minutes. 
(Beware - guard dog on the terrace!)

Side Bar
So... pretend that the person you are cooking dinner for is not home when they said they were going to be home.  Hmmmm - maybe you think, "dinner is ruined now!"  Fear not!  Turn the heat off under the pot and just let it hang out.  When they DO finally get home, bring the pot back to a boil and add the seafood. 
(true story)    :-P

Toss the clams in first - cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until the shells open.  Throw out any that do not open.

Next, add the 2 split lobster tails - cook for another couple minutes, then add the rest of the seafoods.  They only need about 3 minutes.  Give everything a good stir too.
Divide the seafood in 2 good sized bowls - pour the broth over the seafood - then garnish with some chopped parsley!  Don't forget that you need bread to sop up all that goodness - you have to have sourdough bread or rolls.  Com'on, we are doing this San Francisco style.  Don't let the list of ingredients turn you off - this is a one pot meal and the only chopping to do is the onion!

  This spicy Cioppino will warm anyone up on a cold, windy, Spring evening! 

1 comment:

  1. I made this tonight. I love Cioppino and have a daughter who lives in San Fran so I've had it quite often. I made your recipe tonight for my husband and me. When he got home and I told him what was for dinner he responded "I don't really like Cioppino." I apologized but served it never-the-less. All he kept saying was "I love this broth." And "this is wonderful!" He's in the hotel business and has had many fine restaurants in his properties but agreed he probably never had very good Cioppino. Kudos!!!! Wonderful recipe! My only additions were 1 tablespoon of granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon garlic salt and 1 teaspoon of table grind pepper. All the rest was you!!!