Chef Cal walks us through how to cook a pot of Italian Cioppino, using classic French prep cooking skills. Crab, lobster, scallops and cod are all married together with a deep red wine broth. This traditional family-get-together, all-hands-in, winter dish is meant to be served with bibs and lots of napkins. And don’t forget the crusty sourdough on the side.
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This recipe was featured online in an article in the Redding Record Searchlight, December 5, 2023
Red Wine Cioppino
An Italian stew brimming with fresh seafood in a rich red wine and tomato broth
In large, heavy bottomed pot, heat oil and butter until medium hot; add garlic, onion, carrots, celery and herbs. Stir often with a wooden spoon and cook until vegetables just begin to soften and color, about 10 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water, as needed, throughout to help prevent sticking and burning. Add wine to deglaze, scraping any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar. Heat and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Add lobster and simmer uncovered for another 6-7 minutes. Finally, add clams, fin fish and crab; heat through for an additional 5 minutes.
Divide seafood and sauce between 2-4 large bowls, with the lobster and shrimp scampi placed on top.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley on top. Serve with a side of extra-sourdough bread for dipping in sauce, along with bibs, spoons, claw crackers and a shell discard bowl.
This is a hands-on meal. Have lots of napkins at-the-ready too. A small bowl of warm water with a splash of lemon juice is also helpful for rinsing fingers occasionally.
▶ Fresh bay leaves are best, especially if you are growing a Bay Laurel tree, but 1 dried leaf can also be used
▶ Use whichever red wine you are serving with your meal, we usually prefer a robust red wine such as Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon or an Old Vine varietal
▶ Firm fin fish can include cod, salmon, halibut, or swordfish
▶ If you are serving clam dip during the event of making this beautiful dish, you can take your drained and reserved clam juice, and add it to the sauce for extra flavor
▶ For even more flavor, wait until the next day and savor the leftovers - time melds the sauce even more