With ‘Dad’s Day’ approaching, this could be a meal to really “wow” your favorite guy, with something a little different.
There is the saying, “When the cats away, the mice will play…” well around here at 3P…we say “When Mom’s away…we’ll make the recipes that Dad loves and Mom doesn’t eat!” When there’s only two of the three 3P Team Members to “hold down the fort”…I like to make favorite dishes for Dad. This dish contains a few items that Mom is allergic to, and the other one I’ll be featuring this week is just a little too indulgent for her tastes…but she’ll have a bite or two. 🙂
The first, is my recipe for Cioppino, or seafood stew. This light and delightful stew contains just about everything under the sea…fish, shrimp, scallops, squid, clams, mussels, and some people even add crab legs! I found out about this recipe when my best friend Jay asked for me to make it for his birthday one year. It was a first for me, and I loved it. The broth is light and flavorful, and the seafood packs an incredible flavor. It’s not too hard to make, and Dad LOVES it. Now, the ingredient list can look a little daunting…but a 3P tip that I never cook Cioppino without: FRESH AND EASY CIOPPINO KITS! No kidding…they make them with almost everything you need seafood wise to make this dish, and it comes with seafood broth in the package. Life Saver! But, if you want to go oldschool and buy each ingredient separate from your favorite fish market: I’m all about that too…it’s just the 3P way to make things a little easier.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock or clam juice
1 bay leaf
1 pound manila clams, scrubbed (You can get these in your Cioppino kit!)
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded (These too!)
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined (…and this!)
1/2 pound fresh calamari/squid (Yep, they even include some squid)
1 pound scallops
1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (Important: discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes, if needed.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with hot crusty sourdough bread. And then pretend you’re sitting in the wharf in San Francisco! (Or enjoy the NHL Hockey Playoffs with Dad!)