Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Zesty Cioppino (Italian Seafood Stew)

100_8136 This hearty Italian style seafood stew is fabulous with crusty Italian bread and your favorite red wine or beer.  All you need is a simple green salad on the side, and you're set for dinner.  Feel free to adjust the herbs and seasonings to your taste preferences.  You can also sprinkle a little shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top, if you wish.

4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried rosemary leaves OR 1 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves
2 tsp dried oregano OR 2 Tbs fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup Chianti or other Italian red wine, preferably medium-bodied
1 2/3 cup stock (chicken, fish or vegetable, preferably homemade or organic)
1 32oz can crushed Italian tomatoes, undrained, chunky style (or chop coarsely if whole)
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil (or 1 1/2 Tbs dried basil)
1 small jar roasted red peppers, drained & coarsely chopped
1 Tbs capers
Juice of 1 lemon
12 medium shrimp, tail-on
1/2 lb scallops
10 to 12 fresh mussels, cleaned
1 lb fresh firm white fish, chopped into 1" chunks
12 clams
1/4 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep pan (or use a stock pot).  Add onion & garlic, saute a few minutes until onion is translucent.  Add the next 8 ingredients and saute until celery is softened, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Add wine, stock, tomatoes with juices, basil, roasted peppers and capers.  Stir, bring to a simmer and cook for 13 to 15 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and seafood, cover and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes or until seafood is just done (shrimp is pink, scallops and fish are opaque, mussels & clams have opened).  Uncover, stir, and discard any unopened mussels or clams.  Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt if desired.  Ladle into bowls, sprinkle each bowl with some parsley, top with shredded parmesan cheese if desired, and serve with Italian bread.

Zestfully yours,

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