Wednesday, December 14, 2011

California Cioppino

California Cioppino
From San Francisco a la Carte
The Junior League of San Francisco

Serves 8

2 freshly cooked whole Dungeness crabs, approximately 1 ½ to 2 pounds each
24 clams, well scrubbed
3 cups white wine
1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
3 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon fresh basil (or ½ teaspoon dried)
2 pounds fresh white fish such as sea bass, rock cod, halibut, ling cod, cut into large pieces
¾ pound scallops
¾ pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Remove the legs and claws from the crab and break the body in half, reserving as much of the soft, mustard colored center (“crab butter”) as possible. Set crab pieces aside and force the crab butter through a sieve into a small bowl. Set aside.

Place the clams in a pan, add 1 cup of wine and steam, covered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes (or until the clams open). Remove clams, discarding any that do not open. Strain the stock through cheesecloth and reserve.

In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and green pepper. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 3 minutes (or until the vegetables start to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining 2 cups of wine, pepper, herbs, and clam stock. Partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the fish, scallops, shrimp, crab, and crab butter. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes or until the seafood is cooked. Do not stir! Add the clams and heat for a scant 1 minute. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately from the cooking pot.

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