You requested, we listened!
We have had numerous requests for assistance in the Cioppino department. One of my favorite things to do is help educate people on the simplicity of cooking seafood. For this entry, we are going to break down the steps to making an easy and flawless Cioppino! This is one of those dishes you CAN’T mess up! You can add any item you want, change the spice intensity, make the sauce thick or thin, and so on. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Just have fun and cater it to your tastebuds!
In order to make this dish, let’s first learn about the history. Wikipedia….to the rescuuuuue! “Cioppino is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in San Francisco is typically a combination of Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and fish… The seafood is then combined with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce, and served with toasted bread, either local sourdough or French bread. 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.”
So how do you begin to make it? Here is what our pros at Santa Monica Seafood suggest:
Serving 1 (double the batch if you are making the order for two)
2 Tbs. of good olive oil
2 Tbs. of fresh julienned shallots
1 Tbs. of fresh julienned garlic
1 tsp. chili pepper flakes for spice
1 tsp. salt
3 ounces mixed shellfish (we suggest 4 clams, 4 mussels, 4 medium shrimp, and a pinch of lump crab at the end)
2 ounces of Santa Monica Seafood fish stock
3 ounces of white wine (dry such as a Chablis, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay)
4 ounces of Santa Monica Seafood Cioppino base
4 ounces mixed white fish (we suggest a firm fish such as halibut, monkfish, swordfish, corvina sea bass, baquetta sea bass, calamari)
1 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley
1 Tbs. fresh chopped basil
Two slices of ciabatta or sourdough
Give your clams and mussels a quick rinse under cold water. Set aside to drain.
1. Heat a pot with olive oil. Add sliced fresh garlic, shallots, shellfish, salt and chili flakes. Sautee for about 3-4 minutes. Stir often. Be careful not to burn the shallots and garlic.
2. Add white wine to the pot and allow this to reduce for a few minutes.
3. Add SMS fish stock. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
4. Add SMS Cioppino base, fish, shrimp and calamari and cook until seafood is done.
5. Garnish with chopped parsley and basil. Serve with grilled ciabbata or sourdough bread. Enjoy!
I am here to help! Please feel free to leave questions and comments below. I would love to provide feedback and assist you along the way.
Happy cooking. We look forward to seeing pictures of your Cioppinos. Post your pics to Instagram and tag us @SantaMonicaSeafood.