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Chef Patrick . . . on the rightThis recipe comes from Chef Patrick who has travelled the world using his culinary arts and learning new skills. There is more about Patrick on his Biography page (click here) and of course a lot more of his adventures on his own website, and I do mean adventures.To visit his website Notes from the Road click here.

Chef Patrick had this comment about the recipe:

"According to James Bread, Cioppino originated in the San Francisco Bay area by Portugese fishermen. Today it is a very popular dish in all along the Pacific Coast region. The following recipe comes from Alaska where I had daily access to an abundance of fresh seafood. There are a number of steps involved in making Cioppino but none of them are difficult and with a little practice you can put this together in under an hour. Serve with fresh Sour Dough Bread. The trick here is to have all your ingredients prepared ahead (mis en place) and readily at hand for the last minute production".

Ingredients for Cioppino

2 Lbs. Fresh Small Clams, rinsed in fresh water 3 times
1 Lb. Fresh Bay Scallops
1/2 Lb. Fresh Halibut Fillet cut into 1 1/2" cubes
2 Lbs. Fresh Mussels, cleaned and scrubbed, beard removed
1 1/2 Lbs. Pre-cooked fresh Crab (Dungess claws or King Crab claws & legs) - cracked and cut in 1 1/2 pieces.
1 Lb Fresh Shrimp - medium to large, head & shell removed, tail on
1 1/2 each Red Pepper, roasted, skin removed, medium diced
1 1/2 each Green Bell Pepper, roasted, skin removed, medium diced
1 Large size Onion, medium diced
1 Bunch Green Onions, medium diced
2 Stalks Celery, medium diced
2 Tbls. minced Fresh Garlic
4 Cups Fresh Roma Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
3 Tbls. Quality Olive Oil
2 Each Bay Leaf
Coarse Ground Black Pepper to Taste
2 Tbls. Fresh Oregano, minced
1 Tbls Fresh Basil, minced
4 Tbls Fresh Italian Broad Leaf Parsley, minced
1 Cup Maderia Wine
2 Cups Red Wine (full bodied Italian type)
2 Cups Water

Clam / Mussell Steaming Liquid:
3 Cups White Wine
1 1/2 Cups Water
3 Tbls. Fresh Garlic, minced
1 Cup Fresh Parsley, minced
Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Sm. Lemons juiced

How to make Cioppino

Step One:
Cover Clams with fresh water and let sit for twenty minutes. Rinse and repeat process three more times to remove any sand. Clean Mussels well removing "beard." Discard head and shells from shrimp. Set aside clams, mussels and shrimp. (This process can be done the day before or early in the day and everything covered and refrigerated until needed.)

Step Two:
Roast peppers and remove skin. NOTE: I use a small hand-held home-style propane torch for this process. Prepare all the vegetables and set-aside near stove. Also have all of the other ingredients at hand before beginning Step Three.

Step Three:
In a medium stock pot assemble the Clam/Mussel poaching liquid (White wine, water, garlic, parsley and lemon juice). When liquid comes to boil add the clams and cover tightly. Steam clams until they just open (you need to keep a sharp eye on them being careful not to overcook them). Quickly remove clams from pot, set them aside and add mussels. Again, steam the Mussels until they open (about six minutes). Remove mussels from the pot, set them aside. Take pot off heat.

Step Four:
While the Clams/Mussels are steaming take a second large stock pot and heat the Olive Oil. When the oil is hot add all the chopped, diced and minced vegetables, except the tomatoes and minced herbs. Sauté over medium-high heat until onions are translucent (about 5-8 minutes), add tomatoes and minced herbs, sauté 5 minutes. Add Marsala, Red Wine and cook five minutes more. Add water and Bay Leaf. Bring liquid to a simmer.

Step Five:
Strain the Calm/Mussel liquid through a fine strainer and add the liquid to the vegetable stock pot. While the stock comes back to a simmer, remove the top shell from the clams and mussels and discard the shell. At this point the vegetable/clam stock can be set-aside until ten minutes before you are ready to serve the Ciopinno.

Step Six:
Bring the vegetable/clam stock to a boil, add the following ingredients, cooking for the time specified, in this exact order: Halibut, cook one minute, add Shrimp, cook three minutes more, add Scallops and Crab. Cook three minutes more and add Clams and Mussels. Remove from heat and serve.

Chef Patrick