Just last month I had a bunch of good friends over for a dinner party. The theme was Mediterranean and everyone came dressed in white. We started off with warmed olives & herbs, homemade humus & eggplant dip, and fennel and apple slaw.
- The fish stock made from scratch (If you choose not to do so, you can use clam juice or purchase some prepared fish stock).
- The Cioppino itself
So what was my lesson learned? Next time I make this Cioppino, I would change my timing of adding in the seafood. I originally threw the clams, shrimp, scallops and halibut all in at the same. The clams did not open up as much as they should have and I was afraid to overcook the other seafood. Next time I will throw in the clams first, let it cook for about 4-5 minutes then add in all other seafood (I adjusted the recipe below to reflect so).
- Equal part fish scrap and bones
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 1 bunch celery, halved
- 2 lemons, quartered
- A pinch salt
- Sprigs of thyme
- Sprigs of oregano
Add all ingredients in a large pot. Top with water and bring to boil then lower to a simmer (just under boiling) for 2 hours. Sieve out the vegetables, herbs and bones and you should have a clear tasty broth!
Cioppino Delight Ingredients:
- 3 pounds halibut, cut into inch cubes
- 1 pound (or more) of large shrimp
- 3 pounds little neck clams
- 2 pounds scallops
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped (1 large onion)
- 1 cup bell pepper, chopped (1 large bell pepper)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 x 28-ounce can plum tomatoes in juice
- 6 cups fish stock
- 3 cups red wine
- 2 bay leafs, whole
- 1 teaspoon lemon thyme, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon oregano, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon basil, chopped fine
- 1 dash of salt and pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried chile peppers
- 1/2 cup minced parsley for garnish
- Split the shrimp shells down the back and remove the black vein. Alternatively, you can shell the shrimps and devein them. Shell-on imparts more flavour; shell-off is easier to eat. Cut out the tough mussel in the scallops if your fish monger has not done so. Also take any bones out of halibut if any.
- In a deep 8-quart covered pot, sauté onions, garlic and bell pepper on medium heat in olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes, red wine, fish stock, the herbs, chile peppers and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove bay leaves. Taste and correct seasoning.
- Add the clams and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the halibut, shrimp and cook, covered, until shrimp are bright pink, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook.
- Serve in large bowls, shells included. Sprinkle with minced parsley and serve with a great piece of bread to dip into the Cioppino with! Enjoy!
Soup Mistress Rating for Cioppino Delight: