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Thread: Cook's Illustrated/Best Recipe Cioppino

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    San Francisco

    Cook's Illustrated/Best Recipe Cioppino

    Does anyone have this recipe and could you post it or a link to it? I wanted to make cioppino for my supper club in April and there are sooo many versions out there. I saw this one in The Best Recipe: Soups & Stews in the bookstore and was intrigued because they said it was simple (and of course the best). I am 49th on my library's waiting list for it so I don't think that's going to work. Help me please, and thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Nantucket, MA 02554
    I can't help you with the Cook's Illustrated cioppino, but I just made the cioppino from the March Gourmet, and I highly recommend it. It looks like a long list of ingredients, but aside from the seafood, they're mostly things you probably have in your pantry and they come together nicely. I served it with some sourdough bread--YUM!!


    San Francisco–Style Seafood Stew
    Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 1 1/2 hr

    See how to devein shrimp.

    4 large garlic cloves, minced
    2 medium onions, finely chopped
    1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
    1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
    1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 1/2 cups dry red wine
    1 (28- to 32-oz) can whole plum tomatoes, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
    1 cup bottled clam juice
    1 cup chicken broth
    1 (1-lb) king crab leg, thawed if frozen
    18 small (2-inch) hard-shelled clams (1 1/2 lb) such as littlenecks, scrubbed
    1 lb skinless red snapper or halibut fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
    1 lb large shrimp (16 to 20), shelled (tails and bottom segment of shells left intact) and deveined
    3/4 lb sea scallops, tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
    1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

    Garnish: shredded fresh basil leaves and small whole leaves
    Accompaniment: focaccia or sourdough bread

    Cook garlic, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes with salt and pepper in oil in an 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, and broth and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    While stew is simmering, hack crab leg through shell into 2- to 3-inch pieces with a large heavy knife. Add crab pieces and clams to stew and simmer, covered, until clams just open, 5 to 10 minutes, checking every minute after 5 minutes and transferring opened clams to a bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon. (Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.) Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot and gently stir in parsley and basil.

    Serve cioppino immediately in large soup bowls.

    Cooks' note:
    • The stew — without seafood — can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, uncovered, then chill, covered. Bring to a simmer before adding seafood.

    Makes 6 servings.

    March 2002

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Do you think this cioppino would be good with just some of the different kinds of seafood? Seafood is expensive in the Midwest.
    For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

    --Bill Bryson, "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

  4. #4
    DmOrtega Guest
    Generally we like to use cod, scallops and shrimp, or sometimes just cod. Ciopinno is very forgiving. You can add whatever seafood that you like. Just be sure to debone any fish that would have bones.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    San Francisco
    Islandgirl, thanks for the recipe. It does sound tasty. I'll probably go with that one, unless someone else comes up with the CI version...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Dallas, TX
    magdon, I saw that you did do the Cook's Illustrated Cioppino, and liked it. You said that they claimed it was easy; was it really? Could you post the recipe? I'm thinking about doing cioppino for our supper club, but don't want to bite off more than I can chew, as it were. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    San Francisco
    The recipe is below and it really was easy. The scrubbing of the shellfish and peeling the shrimp were the most difficult parts. I really wanted to make this b/c the CI theory behind it was that this was a dish made my San Francisco fisherman on their boats (or just off it) so it had to be simple. They were not going to be making complicated fish stocks, etc. Oh, and chopping that much garlic is a bit of a pain. But it goes quickly once you get started. CI left out crab b/c its hard to get good stuff outside of SF (so they say) but I was able to get some so I added it in. I say go for it and enjoy!

    From Cooks Illustrated The Best Recipe: Soups & Stews
    Serves 6 to 8

    6 T. extra-virgin olive oil
    8 T. coarsely chopped garlic (about 20 cloves)
    1 c. dry vermouth
    2 dozen littleneck clams, shells scrubbed
    2 dozen mussels, shells scrubbed and breads removed
    2 T. unsalted butter
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
    1 c. bottled clam juice
    1 (14 ½ oz.) cans diced tomatoes
    1 bay leaf
    2 T. minced fresh oregano leaves
    2 T. fresh thyme leaves
    1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
    salt & pepper
    1 lb. sea scallops, tendons removed
    1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled

    1. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until warmed. Add 2 T. oil and 2 T. garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add ½ c. vermouth and the clams. Cover and steam until the clams open completely, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer the clams and the steaming liquid to a medium strainer set over a medium bowl. Return the empty stockpot to the burner and heat until warmed. Add 2 T. oil and 2 T. garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 10 seconds. Add the remaining ½ c. vermouth and the mussels. Cover and steam until the mussels open completely, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the mussels and their steaming liquid to the strainer with the clams. Set the strainer and reserved juices aside. Do not remove the shells.

    2. Return the empty pot to the burner, raise the heat to medium-high, and heat until warmed. Add the remaining 2 T. oil, butter, onion, remaining 4 T. garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the clam juice, diced tomatoes and their juices, bay leaf, and the reserved clam and mussel juices. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the flavors blend, about 4 minutes. Add the oregano, thyme, Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste.

    3. Add the scallops and shrimp and press with a wooden spoon to submerge them in the liquid. Place the reserved clams and mussels in their shells on top of the shrimp and scallops. Cover and remove the pot from heat. Let stand until the shrimp are pink and the scallops are milky white, about 5 minutes. Ladle the shellfish and broth into shallow bowls and serve immediately.
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