Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cioppino with Clams, Cod, Shrimp and Squid

It's been about time to start cooking again as I haven't cooked for the last week and have been subsisting mostly on reinvented leftovers from the party, so I decided to make a cioppino seafood stew for dinner last night. I've never made cioppino before, so I went through a bunch of recipes online, including Giada's, Rachael Ray's, Guy Fieri's and Epicurious', and made my own based on what sounded good and what I had in the kitchen. It's actually quite easy to make with some basic ingredients and everyone really enjoyed it. All we had to buy was the squid, clams, and clam juice; everything else we already had at home. Trying new things keeps things interesting, so it was a welcome change from the leftovers. We had a simple radish, cucumber, cherry tomato salad with miso sesame on the side, which was a refreshing crunchy pairing to the cioppino; I grilled up some olive oil brushed bread rubbed with some garlic and had a bottle of 2009 Curran Grenache Rose. While a rose was a nice choice for the cioppino and the warm weather, it wasn't as excellent as the other Curran wines we've been drinking, including the Gewurtztraminer and Grenache Blanc. It was a little too light, which was surprising to me since Grenache is usually such a big grape.
Cioppino Recipe
  • Chop one red onion, 3 celery stalks and mince 6 cloves of garlic
  • Heat up a few TB of olive oil in a 5 quart Le Creuset pot over medium heat
  • Saute the onion for 5 minutes, then add the celery for another 5 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add about 1-2 tsp of anchovy paste (Rachael Ray's recipe used anchovies, but all I had was paste)
  • Add the minced garlic and 1 tsp of red chili flakes (I would use more next time, the heat was just barely discernible) and saute for a minute or two
  • Add 1-2 TB of tomato paste from a tube and thoroughly stir everything together
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of white wine to deglaze the pot and bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Add 8 oz of clam juice for the last few minutes
  • Add 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes in juice, 1 cup of tomato sauce, 1 cup of water, 2 cups of chicken stock, 2 bay leaves and 1-2 TB of fresh thyme leaves and a shot of sambuca (I saw the sambuca in a Guy Fieri recipe. A lot of recipes called for fennel, which I didn't have, so I thought the sambuca could be a proxy). I also added the heads of the shrimp for extra flavor for the broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for at least half hour, but more like one hour
  • Add 1 lbs of clams, simmer for 5 minutes, add 1 lb of cod cut into chunks, simmer for another 5 minutes, then add 1 lb of shrimp and sliced squid (1 small whole squid) and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the shrimp is no longer pink and the squid is no longer translucent. Meanwhile, grill bread brushed with olive oil on a grill pan, flipping once, then rub with garlic cloves
  • Serve with the bread and a sprinkling of chives

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