I LOVE seafood. I mean LOVE it. I’ve loved seafood since I was a little kid. Every year for my birthday all I wanted was to go eat calamari at my favorite seafood restaurant at Jack London Square in Oakland. They are no longer there, but I’ll always remember it.

So it would make sense that I would love cioppino. One of my favorite restaurants, the Dead Fish in Crockett, has what they call the Dead Fish Stew, which is basically cioppino and it is fabulous! Well, since we can’t eat there for at least the next year I had to find a substitute. This is a pretty good stand in and it’s really easy to make.

4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dry pepper flakes
1/4 c olive oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 c oven baked tomato sauce
4 c regular tomato sauce
1 1/2 c white wine
1 lb clams
1 lb mussels
1 whole dungeness crab
1 lb firm white fish of your choice
1 lb shrimp – shelled and deveined
1 lb scallops
1 lb octopus and/or calamari

1. Steam clams and mussels in 2 cups of water until they open. Strain, reserving liquid.
2. In a large pot cook garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes in olive oil until the onions soften. Stir in bell pepper and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add wine and boil until reduced by 1/2. Add reserved clam & mussel broth, tomato sauces, and bay leaf and simmer for 30 min.
4. Add fish, and remaining seafood to broth. Cook until seafood is cooked through – about 5 min.
5. Serve with fresh baked or artisan bread.

I made this last night we added octopus to it as well. If you make this, have fun with the seafood you put in it. The garlic, onion, peppers, and tomato sauces all came from our garden. The seafood sans the mussels and clams came from our local fish monger. The mussels and clams came from our farmers’ market. The wine is the last remaining wine from our wedding, almost a year ago. The bay leaf is from our garden. The red pepper flakes are just some of the spices we still have in our spice cabinet – but will be making more with our serrano peppers that we’re growing.

The pot we made was huge! I had to remove the meat from the mussels and clams because adding them with the shells wouldn’t have fit in our pot, and I was using the biggest pot we had. Well, not the biggest pot, my brew pot is the biggest, but it’s not suitable for cooking meals in due to it’s thin bottom.

I hope you try this out and love it as much as we do.

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