I found the delicious seafood stew recipe hiding in my giant Gourmet Cookbook. Though the name Cioppino sounds Italian the recipe is from San Francisco. The legend is that name comes from when the Italian and Portuguese fishermen made a communal meal they’d “chip in” what they could from that days catch.
Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you off. There is a good bit of cutting and chopping, but this stew is pretty quick and easy to prepare. The recipe had some nonsense about a frozen king crab leg; I nixed that all together. Also I had extra green and banana peppers from our last CSA delivery so I tossed those in. It’s a very versatile and hearty dish.
I bought the clams, scallops, and shrimp at Jesse Taylor’s Seafood at the fish market on Maine Ave. The salmon was one of those big farm-raised slabs from COSTCO.
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 (28- to 32-ounces) can whole plum tomatoes, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 cup chicken broth
18 small (2-inch) hard-shelled clams (1 1/2 pound) such as littlenecks, scrubbed
1 pound skinless red snapper, salmon, or halibut fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound large shrimp (16 to 20), shelled (tails and bottom segment of shells left intact) and deveined
3/4 pound sea scallops, tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
• Garnish: shredded fresh basil leaves and small whole leaves
• Accompaniment: foccacia or sourdough bread
Cook garlic, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes with salt and pepper in oil in an 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, and broth and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add clams to stew and simmer, covered, until clams just open, 5 to 10 minutes, checking every minute after 5 minutes and transferring opened clams to a bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon. (Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.) Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot and gently stir in parsley and basil.
Serve Cioppino immediately in large soup bowls.