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1 sea bass or striped bass (or two fillets)
1 pound shrimp
1 quart clams or mussels
1/4 pound dried porcini mushrooms
1 West Coast crab or lobster, or 1.5 lbs King Crab Legs
3-4 tomatoes
1 green pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 pint red wine
salt and pepper

Start by soaking the mushrooms in cold water, then prepare the seafood. Cut the raw fish in serving-sized pieces. Shell and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails intact. Clean and steam the mussels or clams in a quart of water or stock for about 4-5 minutes (until the shells open) and save the liquid. Break the crab apart or cut the lobster or crab legs into pieces.

Make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, then saute the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and green pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook down for a minute or two, then add the tomato paste, the wine, and 4 cups of the mussel or clam broth. Salt and pepper to taste, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

When ready to assemble, arrange the seafood in a large kettle: first the crab or lobster, then the fish, topped by the shrimp. Bring the sauce to a boil, then pour into the kettle, cover, and cook on low heat for 8 minutes. Toss in the mussels or clams (to reduce shell volume, you can wrench off and throw away half the shell before tossing in), cover, and heat for 2 more minutes.

Bring the kettle to the table and ladle out. Make sure everyone has big towels and nutcrackers and picks--it's a gloriously messy meal. –adapted from James Beard
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