After attending endless holiday parties and perhaps eating a holiday feast or two, many will appreciate a somewhat lighter dish, like this cioppino. This famous San Francisco fisherman’s stew has many variations. Most include local Dungeness crab, but beyond that the seafood additions depend on the catch of the day and the whim of the cook. Following this philosophy, use whatever seafood is best in your area. If you can’t find Dungeness crab, substitute good fresh lump crabmeat.
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves, broken in half
- 1 can (28 oz./825 g) diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) dry red wine
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry white wine
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
- 3/4 lb. (375 g) firm white fish fillets such as halibut or monkfish, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks
- 1 lb. (500 g) littleneck or other small clams, scrubbed and soaked
- 1 lb. (500 g) Dungeness crab claws, or 1/2 lb. (250 g) Dungeness or other lump crabmeat, picked over for shell fragments
- 20 large shrimp, heads and legs removed, or peeled and deveined if desired
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. hot-pepper sauce such as Tabasco
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a large, heavy pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the bay leaves, tomatoes and their juices and the red and white wines and bring to a simmer. Partially cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
2. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Add the oregano, thyme, fish and clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the crab and shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp and fish are opaque throughout and the clams have opened, 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Discard any unopened clams. Stir in the hot-pepper sauce and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Find more simple one-dish dinners in our cookbook One Pot of the Day by Kate McMillan.