Cioppino with EVERYTHING in it

On the way back from a successful steelhead fishing trip on the Umpqua River last week, Grover and I got to talking about food.  That is something we share in common, so for 3.5 hours we talked about the best dishes that we had on the coast.  One of my favorite dishes was the Cioppino I had several years ago at a place in Newport, Oregon called Sharkies Cafe (or something like that).  We went back and forth for several hours with our mouths watering.  The next day, I could not stop thinking about it.  It was Sunday, and it was my day to indulge so I started doing research, taking what I liked from this recipe, adding what I liked from the others.  Michael Mina, a very well-known Chef from San Francisco had the best recipe I have seen, so I did a few tweaks to it.  I would just give it a try to invite my family over for some dinner, if it did not turn out I would not blog about it.  I took some halibut and razor clams out of the freezer and took off for Costco where I knew they had the seafood medley package (full of calamari, shrimp, mussels, and scallops)

The Premium Package
The Premium Package

I had the Seafood, now it was time for the base.

  • 6 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 whole garlic
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded and minced.
  • 1 yellow pepper seeded and chopped.
  • 1 large yellow sweet onion chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • One 28 can of stewed tomatoes
  • Four 8 ounces bottles of clam broth
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of packed basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds of halibut cut into 1 inch chunks
  • One bag of Premium Seafood Melody (Costco)
  • 1 pound of razor clams
  • 3 Dungeness crabs de-shelled and cleaned, or 1 pound of lump crab meat.

In a large soup pot (a very large one), heat up about 1/4 cup of olive oil until it is nice and hot.  Add the chopped garlic (not the whole ones), jalapeños, bell peppers, onion, and whole bay leaf.  I add a little dose of pepper at this point as well.

Make sure you have a very large pot, you have a lot of seafood to add later.
Make sure you have a very large pot, you have a lot of seafood to add later.

Over medium high heat, cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for one minute.

I used a nice wine from Italy, just so I could drink it while I cooked...Straight out of the bottle like a true Italian
I used a nice wine from Italy, just so I could drink it while I cooked…Straight out of the bottle like a true Italian

Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about one minute longer.

Cook until wine is almost evaporated.
Cook until wine is almost evaporated.

I take my stewed tomatoes and give them a quick mix about in my mini food processor.

Add the can of stewed tomatoes to the processor and give a quick blend
Add the can of stewed tomatoes to the processor and give a quick blend

Add the tomatoes and cook over medium high heat until slightly thickened, about five minutes.

This is what the clam juice looks like.
This is what the clam juice looks like.

Add the clam broth and water, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Simmer over medium heat until the broth is reduced to about 8 cups, about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, reduce to simmer and taste it.  Does it need salt and pepper?  Add a little at a time until you get what your looking for.
After 20 minutes, reduce to simmer and taste it. Does it need salt and pepper? Add a little at a time until you get what you’re looking for but be careful you will be adding seafood later and seafood has a salt flavor.

Do not put that mini food processor away, you need it.  Add the basil leaves, the two whole garlic and 1/2 cup of the remaining olive oil and crushed red pepper.  Process the basil until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

One of my favorite tools in the kitchen.  My little work horse.  30 dollars at Costco
One of my favorite tools in the kitchen. My little work horse. 30 dollars at Costco

Set sauce aside for later.  While the pot simmers, cut the halibut into one inch cubes.

The halibut just makes me think about going out and catching more this spring.  Make sure not to cut more than 1 inch cubes.
The halibut just makes me think about going out and catching more this spring. Make sure not to cut more than 1 inch cubes.

Then I cut the razor clams about 1/2 inch strips.  I put all of it in the bowl and wait for company.  The next step is very fast.

This looks DELISH
This looks DELISH

When you are ready to serve.  Bring up the heat to medium.  Add the halibut first, give a minute.  Add the shrimp, muscles, clams, calamari, and scallops and cook for 7 minutes.  Add the crab, cook for 2 more minutes and serve (you can also buy the shelled at Costco if you do not have the means to catch it.  It is cheaper and good quality).  Taste the sauce, this is when I would add a little salt and pepper if you need it. When you dish into bowls, finish with drizzle of the basil sauce.  Stand back and watch them smile.

Serve into bowls, and drizzle the basil sauce over the top.
Serve into bowls, and drizzle the basil sauce over the top.

This dish would be one of those meals that I may make for myself if I knew it would be my last.  My family and friends gave it a huge endorsing and I was proud of the outcome.

 

I hope you enjoy

Hunting Chef

This is how much I love my family!
This is how much I love my family!

 

 

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