Cioppino is an Italian fish stew or bouillabaisse originating in San Francisco. It's one of my favorite dishes to make because it's a one-pot meal with a ton of flexibility. Once you create the base of the stew, you can really add whatever seafood you like. My favorite combo is to use large sea scallops, shrimp, a white fish such as cod or halibut, and mussels. You can also throw in some spanish chorizo or another kind of sausage to beef it up a bit. Either way, you can't go wrong with this dish! Surprisingly very easy and quick to make. A definite crowd pleaser.
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 flat filets of anchovies (drained)
6 garlic gloves (chopped)
1 bay leaf
2 celery ribs (chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 cup of white wine (good quality)
1 (14 ounce) container of chicken stock
1 (32 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes (chunky)
1 tablespoon of thyme leaves (about 4 springs)
1 handful of chopped parsley
1 pound of white fish such as cod or halibut (cut into 2 inch chunks)
1 pound of large sea scallops
1 pounds of peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 to 1 pound of mussels (scrubbed and debearded)
In a large deep pot over medium high heat, combine oil, chopped garlic, anchovies and bay leaf. (Side note: don't be scared of the anchovies. They act as a natural salt and melt into the oil. It gives the stew incredible flavor). Let the anchovies melt away in the oil, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped onion and celery and cook until soft and the onions translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and let it reduce for one minute. Next add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, thyme and parsley. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Season the fish, scallops and shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the fish and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, scallops and then mussels. Cover pot. (Side note: try not to stir the stew after you add the fish because you don't want the fish to break apart. Instead carefully shake the pot every so often or very lightly stir the soup to ensure the seafood is cooking evenly). Cook another 10 minutes until the mussels are open. Ladle up and serve!
*Side note: tastes great with a crusty bread to dip into the stew (just make sure it's gluten free bread, or one that is low on the glycemic index such as rye or pumpernickel).