Cioppino is a traditional Italian Christmas dish. I decided to give it a go this year! I looked at a few recipes and came up with this one that is VERY easy and low maintenance – yet still gives you an excellent flavour. I used frozen and canned seafood rather than fresh, which saved me a ton of prep. I hope you enjoy it!
1 large shallot or 2 leeks, diced
1 small onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 Fresno chiles (sub a couple of serranos – not too many, they are much hotter than Fresnos), thin sliced
1/2 8oz box of creminis, diced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like)
1 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 dry bay leaves
1 tsp Old Bay
zest of one lemon
4 Tbl tomato paste (one small can)
1 28oz can of San Marzano whole tomatoes, broken up by hand into pot
2 bottles clam juice
1 cup white wine
1 large can clams with juice
1 can oysters with juice
1 package frozen firm white fish (about 12 oz), I used cod, 1 inch dice
1/2 package frozen calamari, whole, cut into rings (about six small calamari)
1 # medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbl butter
1/4 cup dry sherry (pernod anise would be EXCELLENT here, especially if you ADD fennel to the veg)
juice of one lemon
handful of chopped fresh parsley
In a large chili pot or dutch oven (4qt+), put 1-2 Tbl EVOO and turn heat to medium. Add the first 11 ingredients and cook 5-6 minutes until soft and translucent. Then add tomato paste and cook for a minute. Then crush in the San Marzanos, clam juice and white wine. Stir and turn to a slow simmer for about 30 minutes, with lid ajar.
After 30 minutes, the broth should be reduced by about 20% and have a nice body to it. Check for S/P levels and add butter. Add in all the seafood and bring back to simmer. Simmer with lid ajar for about 10-15 minutes. The shrimp and fish should be opaque. When seafood is cooked, turn off heat, add the juice of the lemon, sherry and parsley, reserving some parsley for garnish.
Serve with crusty bread.
This recipe makes about 4 quarts.