San Francisco Cioppino Seafood Stew

Written by Brian Strauss.

Cioppino seafood stewCioppino Tomato Base:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small carrot, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small haberno pepper
1/2 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 bay leaf
1/2 bottle good red wine
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2-4 teaspoons hot sauce (recommended: I prefer a Haberno Hot Sauce)
10 cups canned pureed tomatoes, about 5 (15-ounce) cans 

Fish Stock,
Seafood:
3 whole crab legs and bodies, with the crabmeat intact (Blue Crab,Dungeness)
18 littleneck clams, scrubbed clean or 2 cans of whole clams
18 black mussels  scrubbed clean
2 pounds fresh sea bass or other firm fish, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1lb+ shrimp Peeled  Xl or Jumbo (shells reserved for stock)

Fish Stock:
1 pound fresh fish bones, plus the head if you can get it
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, mashed
1/4 bunch parsley stems
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Shells from the shrimp
3 cups of clams juice
Cook for 1 to 2 hours over medium heat


Serving suggestion: Garlic Bread or Sour Dough

Seafood:
For the tomato base: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the carrots, onions, peppers, and celery, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chile, herbs, and seasonings and cook until fragrant. Add the wine, vinegar, Worcestershire, and hot sauce and reduce until the liquid is almost evaporated. Add the tomatoes and all of the fish stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine strainer, discarding the solids.
For the seafood: Place the strained liquid into a clean pot and bring to a simmer. Add the crab, clams, mussels, and sea bass, cover the pot, and cook for 5 minutes  Add the shrimp and cook an additional 3-6 minutes ( until the shrimp is pink)
To serve: Divide the seafood into 6 large bowls and ladle the broth over top. Serve with garlic bread.




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