I wanted fish stew last weekend, so I could play with a lot of the different seafoods I see at our Asian market.
Unfortunately, this is the East Coast, and it's sometimes hard to get the ingredients that go into traditional cioppino. So, I improvised.
If you want the original/traditional recipe, go to Simply Recipes.
3 pounds firm white fish -- I used rockfish, which was caught wild -- cut into inch-long cubes
1 package imitation crab meat (this was for Gaby, and also because they didn't have a Dungeness crab in the store)
1 pound (or more) of large shrimp
2 pounds (or more) little neck clams and mussels
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 large green bell pepper)
3 coves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can tomatoes
Broth from the mollusks
2 cups red wine
2 cups V-8 (the original recipe calls for tomato juice)
2 cups fish or shellfish stock (You can buy this in the store. Or make your own. I've got a bunch in the freezer)
An herb bouquet of bay leaf, parsley, and basil secured with kitchen string
Steam mollusks in a small amount of water (about a cup) until they just open. Set aside. Strain and reserve the cooking broth.
Shell the shrimps and devein them.
In a deep 8-quart covered pot, sauté onions and green pepper on medium heat in olive oil until soft. Add the garlic, sauté 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, broth from the mollusks, red wine, tomato juice, fish or shellfish stock, the herb bouquet, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove herb bouquet. Taste and correct seasoning.
Add the fish and cook, covered, until the fish is just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the steamed mollusks, crabmeat, and shrimp. Heat just until shrimp are cooked (just 2-3 minutes, until they are bright pink). Do not overcook.
Serve with crusty bread.