San Francisco Cioppino -This is a very hearty seafood stew that will feed four to six adults.
Wikipedia says - Cioppino was developed in the late 1800s primarily by Italian fishermen who settled in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, many from the port city of Genoa. Originally it was made on the boats while out at sea and later became a staple as Italian restaurants proliferated in San Francisco.
.5cup extra virgin olive oil1 large sweet yellow onion chopped coarsely
1 cup chopped celery
1 head of fennel, chop bulb coarsely and reserve a few of the fronds to place on top as served
2 cups chopped various colors of bell peppers
2 large cans Cento Chef Strip Tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic chopped finely
1 tomato can of water
1 bottle good drinkable Sauvignon Blanc (none for the Chef this time)
Medium heat, crushed Pizza-style pepper or chopped fresh orbottled Calabrian red pepper to taste
2 lemons sliced in circles
Salt to taste
Fresh Seafood cut into bite sized pieces when necessary (You choose the seafood –it's your Cioppino)
1 lb. peeled large shrimp tails. Head off and shelled
1 lb. fresh live mussels in shell
1 dozen live clams in shell
½ pound calamari rings and tentacles
1 lb. firm white fleshed fish, (halibut, grouper or Chi
lean sea bass) cut into bite sized cubes
1 lb. sea scallops – not bay scallops
Octopus, cuttlefish, lobster, king, snow or blue crab bodies and claws can also be added. Fresh oysters can be added in the final minutes of cooking, if desired.
Heat the oil in large, deep pot. Sauté the onion, bell peppers and fennel and stir until it turns translucent. Then add garlic, water and tomatoes. Bring to low boil and add the wine. Watching carefully, boil until reduced by 1/3. Fifteen minutes before serving, add the sliced lemons and all of the seafood into the vigorous boiling liquid. Stir, reduce the heat and cover tightly. Check after ten minutes. If the clams and mussels are open, serve immediately. If not continue to cook until they open but no longer than fifteen minutes. Serve in big bowls with some of the chopped fennel fronds on top. If you have picky eaters, let each load their own bowl. I have also seen it served with some penne or rotini pasta in the bowl, but I like the sauce with garlic bread. Lots of hot parmesan garlic bread and several bottles of a sauvignon blanc wine or a Sangiovese is all you need to complete this meal.