Blest be the Italian chef (or beloved Italian madre) who came up with Cioppino.

Another Original Gourmet Recipe by Professional Chef Dave - Enjoy!

This unique Cioppino recipe, (Italian fish soup/stew) comes with an interesting twist. Maybe you've had Italian fish stew in your favorite Italian restaurant, maybe on vacation somewhere on a pier overlooking the sea. Chef Dave's first really "killer" version was ravished in a bistro on the Monterrey, California Fisherman's Wharf. Tried it again years later in the same restaurant, but you know how it goes, not even close to the first time. A shame. However, you and I can enjoy the recipe detailed here and it is every bit as good as my first awesome experience on that beautiful, Monterrey evening.

Did I mention that Chef Dave is particularly fond of Cioppino, whether it's called by its Italian name or just fisherman's stew? This well-researched creation of Chef Dave's just might conjure up some really nice imaginings for you at home. In fact, imagine yourself with that wonderful sea salt smell in the air, a couple of sea lions barking in the background, a cuddly sea otter floating on its back cracking an abalone with its personal rock, and you just might have a wonderful west coast or even a Mediterranean experience on your own lanai. So, go for it.

New Italian Recipes Presents:
Cioppino (with homemade tomato sauce and fresh Italian seafood)

Italian fish soup/stew can be made with the shell fish served in the shell, or with the shells removed. Though some diners prefer not to have to muss their hands in eating soup, the shells do add to the overall flavor of any fish soup recipe and allow for a more appealing and realistic presentation.

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6-8 canned or bottled oil cured anchovies, diced (optional if you hate anchovies, but you really can't taste them in the finished product. They do add a nice layer of flavor.)
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 bay leafs
1/2 cup diced celery
1 medium to large onion, diced
1 roasted red bell pepper, diced
1 cup red wine
3 T red wine vinegar
1 quart homemade fish or shrimp soup stock
Shrimp Stock (chicken stock and/or clam or Clamato juice can be substituted)
2 cups or more, (depending on how thick and how tomatoey you like it) homemade
tomato sauce or a 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped or 2-3 T dried (add to seasoning mix if dried)
Dash or two of Tabasco Sauce
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh Italian Parsley
2-3 T fresh lemon juice

Seasoning Mix: (use your herb-designated coffee grinder or your Magic Bullet)
1 T salt
1 T black or mixed whole pepper
2 T dried oregano
1 T fennel seeds
1 T fresh or dried rosemary leaves

Just about everything works in Cioppino and Italian fish Stew or Soup recipes, but here are our recommendations:
1/2 lb. medium shrimp (save shells for making seafood stock)
1/2 lb. scallops
24 fresh mussels
1 lb. firm white fish, chopped in 1 inch pieces (cod, catfish, halibut, orange roughy, etc.)
16 fresh clams (optional)
(Fresh or canned oysters can be added if you like them)

Fresh bread of your choice, garlic baked if desired, and lots of it. (The juice is incredible)

Prepare the Cioppino:
Heat olive oil to medium and add anchovies. Add garlic after about 3 minutes (this mixture should smell fabulous by now, might even bring a whole slew of hungry family members a-runnin’).

Add bay leafs, onions, celery and bell pepper plus 1/2 of the seasoning mix. Sauté for 6-8 minutes.

Add wine, vinegar, Tabasco and Worcestershire and reduce by 1/2, then add tomato sauce, basil and the rest of the seasoning mix. Simmer about 5 minutes then add the lemon juice.

Add the fish and shellfish, cover and cook about 7 more minutes. Remove any of the mussels and clams that don't open.

Sprinkle the completed Italian fish stew with parsley. Serve with fresh, Italian bread. (Butter it up and garlic it if you really want a taste treat!)

This recipe serves four easily (unless one of them is Chef Dave).

For a Unique variation, serve in a large bowl with a layer of cooked spaghetti-type pasta on the bottom. YUM!

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