ISSUE #6: CIOPPINO

Once the skies turn cold and grey, we always tend to gravitate to our favorite comfort food, Cioppino. Perfect to make in the Northwest with whatever seafood is fresh at the market and we like to put our spin on it as we go by adding beans, veggies, etc. But you can essentially never go wrong with a rich tomato base and fresh seafood.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes with juice, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 2 pounds shell-on crab legs, cut into 2-inch pieces (optional)
  • 24 littleneck clams, scrubbed well
  • 1 pound firm, skinless white fish, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat up oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in thyme, oregano, red-pepper flakes, and bay leaf.

Add crushed tomatoes and their juice, white wine, water, and clam juice; bring to a simmer.

Add crab and clams. Simmer, covered, until crab shells turn bright pink and clam shells open, about 10 minutes. Dash the shellfish with salt and pepper. Add fish to stockpot. Simmer, covered, until fish is opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf and any unopened clams.
Remove pot from heat. Stir in parsley. Add salt and pepper as needed for seasoning. Enjoy with Browne Cabernet Sauvignon.

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