- 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeños, seeded and minced
- 1 red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
- 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons water
- 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2-3 cooked Dungeness crabs, about 2 pounds each
- 3/4 lb. Manila clams, scrubbed (or 1 dozen Littleneck clams)
- 1 lb. firm, white-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut, (I used Steelhead; you can use salmon too), skinned and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined (I used frozen shrimp)
- 1 lb. mussels, scrubbed
- 3/4 pound sea scallops, halved vertically if large
Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large stockpot, add onions, garlic, peppers and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, over moderately high heat until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute longer. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices and cook over moderately high heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the clam broth, chicken broth, water and spices; season lightly with salt and generously with pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower temp and simmer over low-moderate heat until the broth is reduced and developed, about 40 minutes to 3 hours. The more time it has the better the broth will taste.
Meanwhile, shell the crab if whole and remove the meat. Add the crabs and clams to the pot. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the clams begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the fish, shrimp, mussels and scallops to the pot, pushing them into the broth.
Stir occasionally until the clams and mussels are fully open and the fish, shrimp and scallops are cooked through, about 8 minutes longer.
Ladle the cioppino into deep bowls and serve with some crusty French bread for dipping in the broth. If you have leftovers, be sure to remove the clam & mussel shells from the stew prior to storing in the refrigerator.
Be prepared to be amazed!