Easy Seafood Cioppino
Loaded with fresh seafood and swimming in a mildly spicy tomato broth, Easy Seafood Cioppino is healthy meal that’s easy to prepare. A perfect alternative to a calorie laden chowder and ready in under 30 minutes.
How’s everyone’s summer so far? Hopefully it’s as fun as mine and everyone has their toes in the sand pretty regularly. I’ve been hopping back and forth between the suburbs and the shore for most of the season with frequent visits to all the farm stands in between. It’s my favorite time of the year because all markets are bursting with the best produce and seafood. It’s a great time to be in the kitchen….but who wants to be in there all day when the weather is calling you outside. I’ve been lazing around on the beach for hours and exhausted from a long day of soaking up the rays. I never have much energy to whip up dinner and one can only eat so many Blueberry Mojito Popsicles before you need something with a little more sustenance. It’s amazing how exhausting sitting on the beach is….really. Like running a marathon.
I LOVE seafood, especially that of the shellfish variety. If it has a shell and comes from the sea, chances are I’ll eat it. Unless it’s a horseshoe crab…I have to draw the line somewhere and those things are pretty creepy. We’ll just chuck them back into the ocean. Has anyone ever eaten a horseshoe crab? If so….please share your thoughts and feelings on that because I have to admit…I’m curious that I may be missing out on something. Not so curious that I’m willing to tackle this adventure on my own though.
Easy Seafood Cioppino is exactly that….Easy Seafood Cioppino. Wondering what on earth Cioppino is???? Well, it’s an Italian-American seafood “stew” that’s made up, primarily, of the catch of the day. Created in the 1800’s by Italian fishermen who settled in San Francisco and threw in anything they had from their return from the sea, mainly Dungeness Crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, mussels, squid and fish. It’s really up to you what you want to include in this recipe, for mine…I used what I could easily find at the fish market that day. I usually add mussels and dungeness crab but they didn’t have it the day I shot the photos so for this recipe I used jumbo lump crab, clams, shrimp and scallops. You can also tailor the recipe to feed as little or as many people as you like. The broth is easily doubled or tripled to make enough for entertaining. To punch up the flavor a bit, I like to use Fire-Roasted crushed tomatoes. Muir Glen Organic makes a great fire-roasted tomato, they’re in the canned tomato aisle at your local grocery store. If you can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes, regular crushed tomatoes will work also.
Ready in under 30 minutes, Easy Seafood Cioppino is a healthy stew perfect for an easy, and pretty high brow, weeknight dinner. A great treat to surprise your seafood loving family and absolutely fantastic served with crusty bread. Also perfect for entertaining you could follow up a light salad like this Pear, Goat Cheese and Spinach Salad with your Cioppino as a light and healthy summer dinner that won’t weigh down your guests. Summer in a bowl.
Easy Shellfish Cioppino
the perfect family dinner is with this easy Shellfish Cioppino!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 vidalia onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
- 4 cups fish stock or you can use chicken stock in a pinch
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon
- 12 littleneck clams
- 1 lb medium uncooked shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/2 lb large sea scallops
- 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Cook the onion until softened and then stir in the garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the red pepper flakes, oregano and tomato paste. Cook the mixture until the tomato paste turns a dark red color and then add the wine. Deglaze the pan and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and fish stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the tarragon. Add the clams to the broth and cook until the clams open. Stir in the shrimp and scallops continuing to cook until they become opaque. Add the crab and cook until warmed through. Top with the parsley and basil. Serve immediately with warm crusty bread.