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Cioppino is an Italian inspired Seafood stew found on the West Coast of the United States. A huge bowl full of chunks of fresh fish, shrimp, clams, mussels, and crab legs and a generous serving of garlic bread to dip up the tomatoey broh. It is a feast that will get you involved in your food and definitely mess up your table cloth. So pull up your shirt sleeves and get to work. This Cioppino recipe is worth it, I promise.
- 1.5 lbs mixed fish fillets, cut into 2 inch chunks (salmon, cod and mahi mahi work great in this dish)
- 2 lbs shrimp
- 1 lbs scallops
- 1 lbs mussels
- 1 lbs clams
- 1 cup of carrots - finely diced
- 1 cup of celery - finely diced
- 1 cup of shallots - finely diced
- 10 cloves of garlic - finely chopped or pressed (divided: 6 for the soup, 4 for garlic bread)
- 2 cups of peeled tomatoes - chopped or 1 16oz can of tomatoes
- 2 cups of dry white wine
- 4 cups of fish stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-5 sprigs of Thyme
- 1 sprig of Rosemary
- 2-3 sprigs of Oregano
- or 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning instead of the fresh Thyme, Rosemary and Oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh basil - cut into ribbons
- 1 large French Baguette
- 1/2 stick of butter
- pinch of salt
- Heat up a large soup pot and add some oil. Sauté the shallots and garlic over low heat until they are translucent. Then add your peeled and diced tomatoes (canned tomatoes are fine too, maybe even better in the winter) and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add your celery and carrots, the white wine and the fish stock. Tie together the Thyme, Rosemary and Oregano into a Bouquet Garni and drop it in with your bay leave. Let it simmer until the vegetables are almost tender.
- In the meantime, prep your garlic bread. Mix your softened butter with fresh pressed garlic and pinch of salt until throughly combined. Slice open the baguette lengthwise and spread the garlic butter on the baguette. Pop it in the oven at 350 F until the sides turn slightly browned and crunchy, but the center is still white and soft, approximately 8-10 minutes.
- When the veggies are almost tender, crank up the heat to a boil and add the fish chunks and let it cook for 5-7 minutes. If you use frozen fish, wait until the broth comes back to a boil and start your timer then. Stir only lightly to not break up the fish.Then add the shrimp and crab legs, wait 1-2 minutes and add the clams and mussels. Let the Cioppino come to a light boil and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp are pink and the mussels opened up. Turn off the heat and remove pot from the hot stove.
- Serve immediately. Ladle the Cioppino into large bowls, sprinkle with the fresh Basil and add a generous slice of steaming hot garlic bread.