Thursday, December 31, 2009


Cioppino, or fish stew, is a dish that originated in San Francisco in the 1800's. Considered to be American Italian, which involves flavour profiles I just love, cioppino is another perfect dish for entertaining - or for eating while snuggling around the fire with a nice glass of wine.

Better still, the broth is best if made a day ahead of time which makes meal preparation the day of your party or romantic kanoodling by the fire a breeze!

Visit the printable recipe here: Cioppino

Prep Time: 24 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8

Serve cioppino immediately in large soup bowls with crusty bread.

  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (add more or less of this ingredient depending on your taste for spicy foods. I was worried it was going to be too spicy as I added the full teaspoon, but when it all came together with the seafood it was perfect for us)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 (28- to 32-ounces) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (1-pound) Alaskan king crab legs
  • 8-12 jumbo shrimp
  • 1 pound halibut fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2  pound large sea scallops
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  1. The day before: Cook garlic, onions, celery, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes with salt and pepper in oil in an 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, chicken broth and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring your broth up to a simmer, turn off heat, cool, and then refrigerate over night. 
  3. When ready to prepare, return broth to the pot and bring to a simmering boil over medium heat stirring often. 
  4. While broth is simmering, hack crab leg through shell into 2- to 3-inch pieces with a large heavy knife. Add crab pieces to stew and simmer, covered about ten minutes. Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf, gently stir in parsley and basil.
  5. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!



Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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