When you feel like splurging a little – maybe for that exclusive New Year's Eve party you're putting together – San Francisco's famous Cioppino is a great choice.
This spicy fish and shellfish stew is a big red bowl of yummy, and when paired with a loaf of crusty sourdough bread, it's downright otherworldly.
There are as many versions for Cioppino as there are tourist traps on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf (if you're visiting our city, you've been warned…do not waste your money on an expensive meal down there!).
Some versions use red wine, some white. Some feature a thin broth, while others are so thick you could stand your spoon up in it. They usually all have some type of crab and shrimp, but any and all combinations of seafood are used. As I say in the video, this is not the Cioppino recipe; it's a Cioppino recipe.
I've seriously never made it the same way twice, which is how a recipe like this should be treated. I want you to watch and learn the basic steps, but then go forth, adapt, and find your own expression of Cioppino bliss.
Any serious arguments in the comments as to what should, or should not, appear in a Cioppino will be met with the usual indignation. When it comes to Cioppino, there are two ways to make it – the way you make it, and the wrong way. Enjoy!
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1 rib celery, fine dice
1 onion, large dice
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups white wine
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can (28-oz) tomato puree, tomato sauce, or plum tomatoes crushed by hand
2 cups water, clam juice or fish stock, more as needed to adjust thickness
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
5-6 thin slices of lemon
1 cooked Dungeness crab (about 2-lbs), cracked and cleaned, or 1-lb frozen crabmeat thawed
12 oz fresh cod, cut into 1-in pieces or any other white fish
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound fresh mussels
1/2 cup chopped fresh herb (usually Italian parsley and/or basil, tarragon, or any combination)