January 29, 2006 - Joanne

Finished Stew in pot ready to serve

Cioppino Fish Stew
Recipe: a la Joanne

Serves 4+

1 med yellow onion chopped
1 sm fennel bulb chopped (both green and white parts)
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp Olive Oil
½ btl white wine (we used 2001 Fattoria Laila Verdicchio)
16oz of clam juice (i.e., two 8-oz bottles)
1 32oz can of organic whole tomatoes & juice
1 tbsp tomato paste
¼ tsp of Splash salt* or fine sea salt
¼ tsp of smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground Grains of Desire* (or paradise or pepper)
1.5-2lbs assorted fish we used Corvina, Opah and Halibut cut into 1-2” chunks
18 Razor clams (more is okay!)
4oz cooked and shelled (and picked over) Dungeness Crab (you can use shrimp)

Cooked Rice of your choice.
We used Jasmine White Rice.

In a large covered casserole, heat oil to high and add chopped fennel, garlic, bay leaved and onion and reduce heat to medium. Cook until vegetables are slightly softened and just beginning to get golden edges (don’t burn the garlic!) Add the clam juice and the white wine and tomato paste and bring to a boil for 2 mins then return the heat to medium and add the tomatoes and their juice, chopping them up with the back of a spoon.

Add paprika, salt and pepper, and simmer for about 20 mins to combine flavors and slightly reduce liquid.

Chopped Fish
Chopped Fish ready to go

Add the chopped fish and continue to simmer until almost cooked through (the fish will flake apart when it’s cooked completely through).

Add the clams and the crab and turn the heat up to high and cover the pot for 3 mins (or until clams open).

Serve immediately by ladling the stew around a mound of rice.

Wine pairing: We tried several whites and the one that was easily the best with this dish was the 2001 Dirler Grand Cru Spiegel Muscat from Alsace. Oh that nose! What a fantastic wine! (And, no, I couldn't find any more of it. - Jack)

* The Splash and Grains of Desire grinders come from The Cape Herb & Spice Co. Read more about them here.

Chopped Onions and Fennel
Chopped Onion Fennel & Garlic

Cooked Onions & Fennel
Cooked Onion & Fennel & Garlic - Ready for wine

Add wine & cook for 2 minutes
After adding wine and clam juice
and scraping the bottom

Add tomatoes
After adding the tomatoes

Clams ready to go

Ready to eat!

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