Taking the Chill Away

The night is chill, the table is set so what is to fill the bowls and our tummies?

I think cioppino, a hearty  and flavorful fish stew that takes advantage of Maine’s wonderfully fresh seafood and takes the chill away. With a name like cioppino, you’d think this was an Italian dish, but it actually originated in San Francisco and is not known in Italy.  I’m betting though that in areas where seafood is plentiful, there is some variation.

There appear to be a number of ways to make fish stew, and this version which I have created seems to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds.  Best of all, the tomato base can be made a day ahead and refrigerated to allow flavors to blend.

Lulu’s Cioppino

 1/4 c. olive oil + 2 T. butter

1 c. finely chopped onion + 1 c. chopped pepper, any color will do

1 t. minced garlic

1 lb. fresh mushrooms cut in half

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes + 1 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 c. dry white wine

2 8 oz. bottles clam juice

1/4 c. lemon juice

2 T. chopped parsley

1 t. dried oregano

1/2 t. each basil, salat and pepper

1 T. sugar

Heat oil and butter in large Dutch oven.  Ann onion, pepper, garlic and mushrooms.  Cook until onions are limp, about 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, heat to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 1 hour.  Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

1/2 hour before serving, reheat tomato mixture  and add 1 1/2 lbs. cubed fish (swordfish, halibut, sea bass, cod, haddock) and cook until fish is flaky, usually 10-15 minutes.  Add   1 lb. medium shrimp (peeled and deveined), 1/2 lb. scallops, 1/2 lb. crabmeat and a dozen mussels.  Cover and simmer over low heat until mussels open, about 10 minutes.

To serve, ladle into bowl and top with a dollop of mayonnaise that has been mixed with curry powder and lime juice.

This makes about 6 hearty servings and requires about an hour to prepare.  All that is needed with it is a  crusty bread and a green salad, one as simple as mixed greens with sea salt and fresh lemon juice.  Your family or guests are going to be very happy with your effort.

Sharing with other foodies at Foodie Friday and On the Menu Monday

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13 thoughts on “Taking the Chill Away

  1. Perfect for a cold night. I hear we may get snow. How strange! Mon I still took my outdoor shower. I was hoping to make it to the end of the month outdoors.

    Love that plate, very colorful.
    Hit CTS today with The Tablescaper. A lot of damage on the credit card!:(

  2. I’d have to modify this to fit around my mushroom and shellfish allergies to make this for myself, but Himself would ADORE all of this dish, so I’m keeping this recipe especially for him.
    It looks like just the thing for one of those fast approaching cold winter nights, and would go down well with guests too.
    I may even have to try and bake a home-made loaf of bread to go with it! As Kathleen said, the plate looks rather yummy too 🙂

    1. Oh, I hope you do and that you enjoy it. It has proved to be a real favorite every time I’ve served it. BTW, I can’t find your site and wanted to check it out since you were kind enough to visit.

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