Cioppino with a Southern Twist

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Quick Facts:

Serves 8


2 Tbsp olive oil
2 oz country ham, minced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and minced
2 ribs celery, trimmed and minced
2 shallots, minced (about 2 heaping Tbsp)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp julienned basil
1 tsp minced oregano
2 tsp fish sauce
2 cups dry white wine
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 lb cod, cut into 4 oz pieces
2 dozen cherrystone clams
2 dozen mussels
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Lots of crusty bread for dipping

Recipe Description:

A signature dish of San Francisco, cioppino was created in the late 1800s by Italian fishermen who immigrated to that area. Traditionally made from the catch of the day (and originally prepared onboard fishing boats), this delicious seafood stew is quick and easy to prepare and perfect for feeding a crowd. Though this dish originated on the West Coast, the bounty of our Southern waters will work just as well (even better, we like to think) so give it a try. Seafood is abundant around here in the summer so locally grown fish, mussels, shrimp and clams are perfect additions. Any summer vegetable can also be added, such as fresh corn and tomatoes. A few tips: make sure mussels and clams are not tied into a plastic bag (they need air) when stored in the refrigerator. Buy local and fresh and discard any mussels and clams that don’t open. This stew is delicious with a big slice of crusty bread!


1. In a large Dutch oven, add the olive oil and heat it over medium heat.
2. Add the country ham, bell pepper, celery and shallots. Cook for 5 minutes
3. Add the garlic, tomato paste and herbs. Cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add the fish sauce, white wine, tomatoes and cook until bubbly. Simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Add the cod and cook until just cooked through. Remove and place each filet into a serving bowl.
6. Add the clams and mussels if the clams are very small. After about 5 minutes add the shrimp and cook until clams and mussels are opened.
7. Divide the mixture and ladle into the serving bowls.
8. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty, toasted bread.

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