Cioppino Stew is my fish monger’s favorite. And, since he gets fresh fish almost everyday it’s really easy for me to make! When making Cioppino Stew, I strongly suggest going to a fish market you trust. Before I had my very own monger at home, I got to know the seafood department very well. I prefer to shop at Whole Foods Market for fresh fish. I know most of the time they do a great job, of course not every store is the same so know your monger! Simple tip: if the fish smells fishy it is not fresh. If it smells like the ocean that’s okay. Think about being near the ocean and breathing in sea air versus breathing dead rancid fish. Enough said.
*Cioppino stew works best with dense, meaty fish like, sea bass, halibut or cod.
U15 gulf shrimp (peeled/deveined), 1/2 lb sea bass (skinned), 8 clams, 8 mussels and 1/2 lb squid.
16 oz can crushed tomatoes, 8 oz bottle clam juice, 2 large bay leaves, 2 tSp dried oregano, 1 tBs red pepper flakes, 6 ribbons saffron, 1 cup white wine, olive oil.
1 yellow onion, 4 garlic cloves
- Heat oil in a large stock pot (enough oil to coat the bottom) over medium high heat, dice onion and add to pot, chop garlic and add to pot. Stir, season with salt and pepper, and turn heat down to medium. Add red pepper flakes, oregano, bay leaves and saffron.
- Add crushed tomatoes, clam juice and white wine. Turn heat up until sauce starts to boil. Lower heat and simmer.
- Prep fish: cut sea bass into 1/4 inch chunks, clean mussels (pull up on beard toward top of mussel (or have the seafood dept. do it), slice squid tubes to desired thickness.
- Drop fish into sauce starting with sea bass, clams, mussels, squid then shrimp. Simmer until clams and mussels open.
Serve with crusty french bread!