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)
I had the Seafood, now it was time for the base.
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.
Over medium high heat, cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for one minute.
Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about one minute longer.
I take my stewed tomatoes and give them a quick mix about in my mini food processor.
Add the tomatoes and cook over medium high heat until slightly thickened, about five minutes.
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.
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.
Set sauce aside for later. While the pot simmers, cut the halibut into one 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.
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.
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