One of my goals of 2009, was to test out new recipes - well, last night I did just that. I made something for the very first time and received an excellent review. And not to toot my own horn, but it was one of the best seafood dishes I've ever had.
There is a bit of a story behind this choice for a meal. A couple of weeks ago, I took advantage of the Southwest Airlines 3-day sale and purchased tickets to San Francisco for Steve and I as his birthday present. I wasn't going to tell him about this gift until we celebrated his birthday in Maui, since it's three days after the wedding, but I slipped and forwarded him an email in which I had explained to a friend that we were heading to the Bay Area at the end of April for a few nights. That said, I figured a San Francisco style dinner was in need, so I immediately contacted the best amateaur chef, that I know, in San Francisco, my dear friend Jackie and asked what the best San Francisco themed dinner recipe she had. She immediately suggested Cioppino and I began working out my Whole Foods shopping list.
The recipe Jackie suggested came from All Recipes. I did some further research and made a few tweaks from other recipes I found.
3 tbsp butter
Half of a large onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 can of stewed tomatoes
1 large can of crushed tomatoes (~2 cups)
1 can of chicken broth
1/2 cup clam juice
4 bay leaves
2 tbsp dried basil*
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/2 lb cod, cubed
1/4 lb bay scallops
1 lb small clams
1/4 lb calamari, cut into small rings
1/4 lb crabmeat - ask the Seafood specialist for the largest pieces.
* All seasonings were purchased in the Whole Foods seasoning section - very chep way to go. I suggest the seasoning serving size to be based on taste - so, add a little and test it out.
1. Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large stockpot, add onions and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft.
2. Add tomatoes to the pot (break them into chunks as you add them). Add chicken broth, bay leaves, basil, thyme, oregano and wine. Mix well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
3. Stir in the shrimp, cod, scallops, clams, calamari and crabmeat. Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes until clams open. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with warm sourdough bread!
The total time this took from start to finish was about an hour. The most time consuming part was probably the trip to Whole Foods, which I didn't mind at all.
With the leftovers, we plan on having it over linguini this weekend.