Boy, this has been a really busy week and as you all know I'm running behind on the blog posts so I'll be playing a little catch up during the next week or so.
Our friends Jayne and Bob visited us last weekend from Tucson so we thought what better way to showcase (show off) the best from our new home than a big pot of seafood stew.
One of my particular favorites, the base for this San Francisco style seafood extravaganza can be made in advance which makes it darned easy on the cook. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to whip it up and give it time to ruminate in the refrigerator overnight but it was pretty tasty anyway.
From The Bon Appetit Dinner Party Cookbook published way back in 1983 (nice to see some things never go out of date), this trip to flavortown includes lots of onions, celery, garlic, parsley, red and white wine as well as tomato products in the form of canned whole, paste and mixed vegetable juice cocktail aka V-8. It also calls for green peppers and pepper flakes but I left those out because one of our visitors has an allergy to pepper(s).
Once the broth is made it is really up to the cook what kind of seafood you want to throw into the pot. Just remember to stagger their addition depending on how long it takes to cook them. In our case we included chunks of halibut caught by Big Guy, shrimp, snow crab legs and clams too although we're anxious for mussel season to start so we can throw 'em in next time too, never mind fresh Dungeness instead of the frozen snow crab legs we purchased for the occasion.
Served with foccacio warm from the oven, a kale salad on the side, and good wine (lots of it), dinner was a no fuss warm celebration of good friends and the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. "I love it here" ...Jayne and Bob are you laughing yet?
Cioppino – San Francisco Style Seafood Stew (from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from Bon Appetit Dinner Party Cookbook)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
3 cups V-8 Juice (I used original, but spicy’s good too)
3 ounces tomato paste
1 14 ounce can diced plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar
Hot pepper sauce
Salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
1-1/2 pounds firm fish fillets cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks (I used halibut but cod, or rockfish is fine too)
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 pounds cherrystone clams, scrubbed
4 sections (side) of snow crab claws, cracked
Heat oil in large Dutch oven until shimmering. Add onion, green pepper, and celery and cook until vegetables soften – about 5 minutes. Add garlic and 1/4 cup of parsley and cook additional 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in V-8 juice, tomato paste, plum tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring pot to almost boiling, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. (At this point broth may be cooled and refrigerated overnight for best flavor).
To finish, re-heat broth to almost boiling and reduce heat to a low simmer. Add fish and cook for 2 minutes, then add shrimp and cook just until slightly pink. Add clams and crab and cook until clams open. Ladle into bowls and garnish with remaining parsley. Serve with hot sauce on the side and lots of bread for enjoying all the good sauce. Makes 4 servings.
Two year's ago - Greek Style Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Three year's ago - Kung Pao Chicken