Well, only 4 more days until Christmas and these recipes are making my mouth water! What did you think of the holiday roast? I promise you won’t be disappointed. Now, it’s Day 2 of recipes and I’m going to share with you my FAVORITE HOLIDAY RECIPE and it comes from Whole Foods Market. For the past 3 years, I have featured this recipe at my Holiday Tasting Table at WFM Henderson, NV. It was always a hit and man did we sell seafood that day. It’s a fairly easy recipe with a handful of ingredients but I promise that if you didn’t knock their socks off with the roast, you’ll definitely do it with this stew!
If you ask most Americans, they have either heard of this stew and have had it at an Italian or seafood restaurant or this may be their first time even hearing the word “Cioppino.” This dish was created by Portugeuse and Italian fisherman on the north side of San Francisco. Cioppino is loosely translated as “to chop” or “chopped” regarding leftover seafood from the day’s catch. It originated as a “poor man’s stew” and slowly grew in popularity at the local Italian eateries. Found at most seafood restaurants, this Cioppino will taste just as good as any fisherman’s best stew.
First and foremost, this recipe can be found on Whole Foods Market‘s website. This recipe is featured as their Holiday Cioppino. I’ll be adding my own variation based on my experience with following this recipe and adjusting it to my own palate.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 (28 ounces) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 demi-baguette, cut crosswise into thin slices
- 1 pound thick skinless white fish fillets, such as cod, cut into (1-inch) pieces
- 1 (8 ounces) tub lump crab meat
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound mussels or clams, cleaned
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, onions, fennel and bell peppers and cook until softened and onions and fennel are translucent. Stir in tomatoes with their liquid, broth, wine, tomato paste, oregano and thyme and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, brush baguette slices all over with oil then arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, flipping halfway through, until toasted and golden, 8 to 10 minutes; set crostini aside.
- Stir fish and crab into pot with broth mixture and simmer for 5 minutes. Add shrimp and mussels, cover and simmer until shrimp are just cooked through and mussels have opened, about 5 minutes more. (Discard any unopened mussels.)
- Stir in basil, salt and pepper then ladle into bowls and serve with crostini on the side.
– Add 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika to add another level of flavor. Full bodied and smoky. Yum!
– Use both mussels and clams. The great thing about this is that you can satisfy both mussel and clam fans. Shellfish are an acquired taste. I think if you provide various selections for all your guests, the easier to satisfy them with, my dears!
-Along with all the seafood on the ingredient list, I added two lobster tails cut in half and squid (grilled, if possible). The flavor from the lobster tail shell keeps the full flavor flowing. With the addition of the squid, it will become a seven-fish dish and be considered an entire meal for the Feast of The Seven Fishes (however nontraditional).
Serve this amazing Cioppino with your favorite bold, full bodied red wine. Find an amazing Chianti and you’ll be set to be labeled the Holiday Host/Hostess of the year!