Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cioppino Stew

I am a huge fan of the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I don't know what it is, but there is just something that appeals to me about Guy Fieri. :) On one recent episode, he went to Duarte's in San Francisco and indulged in Cioppino Stew. Now, being from Texas, this rich seafood stew is not something you see on menus in this area. In fact, from what I can tell, people on the west coast must hog this dish because I can't seem to find it anywhere else!

The original Cioppino Stew from Duarte's in San Francisco
After seeing this episode my mouth started watering for this deep red stew filled with goodies from the ocean! It's a fish stew that originated in San Francisco, although it's considered an Italian dish. This delectable soup usually consists of crab, mussels, scallops, and white fish simmered for hours in a tomato, wine and saffron broth. Served up with crusty bread, it is perfection. I've never tried this dish in San Fran, but needless to say it is on my bucket list!

Since I can't seem to find Cioppino anywhere in the great state of Texas, I decided to just make it myself. I didn't have all of the seafood ingredients on hand, and since I'm the only seafood eater in my house I wasn't going to spend a ton to make this just so I could eat it. I decided to use only shrimp, tilapia, and lump crab meat. I found several recipes only, but I decided to mix them together and come up with my own concoction. Here is what I did:


3 filets tilapia
1/2 pound shrimp
1 cup lump crab meat


2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz. can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp saffron
1 cup seafood stock (I wasn't about to use this from a box. You can ask the fishmonger if they have any on hand. Thankfully, at Whole Foods they do.)
1 cup chicken stock
2-3 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish

First, I sauteed the seafood in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Start with the tilapia, and add the shrimp when the tilapia is almost done. It won't take very long at all. The crab meat will be cooked, but I add it to this just to coat it with a little oil. Add a small amount of salt and pepper, but not too much. Break up tilapia into bite sized chunks, and set aside.

In the same pot, add remaining oil and saute onion, bell pepper, garlic and saffron strands. When onions are translucent, add tomatoes, wine, seafood stock, chicken stock and bay leaves. Add seafood to mixture, and bring to boil. Once it comes to a boil, bring down to medium low heat and let simmer for 35-40 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves, top with parsley and serve with a crusty garlic bread.

This turned out sooooooooooo good. I'm sure my version doesn't even compare to those found in San Francisco, but in the meantime I am more than pleased with this substitution!

Mine may not be as pretty, but it sure was tasty!

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