Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Seattle Cioppino




My parents came to visit, so naturally Will and I got away for a date for the first time since the baby was born last summer.  My parents naturally flew thousands of miles to make snails out of Play-Doh with a toddler while we went out.
I'm working on my photography.  Bear with me, people...

Anyways, Will and I went down to Pike Place Market, and even though we've been here in Seattle for four months, I had yet to ever see it.  I *love* open air markets, and if I lived closer to one, I would absolutely do my shopping daily at one.  I love how something so mundane like buying food can be such an experience.  I actually look forward to shopping when it's not at a big box store with shopping cart corrals in the parking lot.  But I digress...
We had a blast.  And I even bought fish, mussels, scallops, crab and clams from the guys that throw fish like you see on the Food Channel.  They threw my fish.  People took pictures of my fish being thrown.  It was rather awesome.  My fish purchase was famous.  And delicious.
me at the Pike Place Fish Co.

This stew was obviously rather expensive to make with all of the fresh seafood, but it was absolutely worth it.  I modified this Will's Fisherman Stew recipe I found online to work with what I had (and what looked good at the market) and it was delicious.  Don't be scared by the ingredient list.  It's super easy to throw together.
We fed seven people for dinner that night, and even had two more bowls for a leftover lunch the next day.  Bust out this recipe for the next company gathering you have.  It will impress, I promise!
Serves 6-8.
The Tools:
6 qt. crockpot (you need quite a bit of space at the end for all the seafood - don't go any smaller!)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with juice
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 small onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 T dried parsley (or about 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped)
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili paste (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 lb. mussels
1 lb. clams
1 lb. white fish filet (I had tilapia), cubed
1 lb. scallops (I had bay scallops)
1/2 lb. crab meat (already cooked)
water (optional)
The Process:
Combine ingredients from the tomatoes to the cayenne pepper in the crockpot to form your soup base.  Stir it together and let it sit on LOW for 8-ish hours.  The onions and peppers should be cooked thoroughly.
After your soup base is done, take your mussels, clams, white fish and scallops and mix into the tomato-ey goodness.  Carefully stir it up, and if you think you need some more liquid, add some water to the pot.  I ended up adding about a cup of water to my base to thin it out a bit.
Turn the crockpot up to HIGH and let it cook for 30 minutes, gently stirring it around a bit every now and then.  After it's done, sort through the soup and fish out any mussels or clams that are still closed.  If they haven't opened by now, you don't want what they gots to offer.
Ladle into bowl and serve with a pinch of crab meat on top.  Enjoy!

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