Crab Cioppino

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Submitted by: Tides Wharf Restaurant, Bodega Bay

recipeInnAtTheTides.jpgNo seats available... without a view of the bay at the Tides Wharf Restaurant at Inn at the Tides. Freshly caught seafood specialties served wharf-side in a casual family-friendly atmosphere. Breakfast, Lunch and dinner served daily. Enjoy cocktails, wines and appetizers by sunset in our beautiful Tides Wharf Bar. Featuring breathtaking views of Bodega Bay's scenic harbor and outdoor covered deck.

Why not try this wonderful Crab Cioppino dish at home! See recipe . . .

Fish Stock:
  • 2 pounds fish trimmings: the heads, tails and bones of any firm white-fleshed fish
  • 6cups water
  • 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized bay leaf crumbled
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. salt
Fish Stew:
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 3 medium-sized firm, ripe tomatoes, washed, coarsely chopped and pureed in a food mill, or substitute 1 cup canned pureed tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (two) 1 1/2 pound precooked Dungeness crabs, thoroughly defrosted if frozen
  • 3 dozen large mussels in their shells
  • 2 dozen small hard-shell clams in their shells
  • 2 pounds fresh halibut or ling cod steaks, cut into 8 equal portions
  • 8 large prawns
  • 8 large scallops
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

To prepare the fish stock, combine the fish trimming and water in a 4 to 5 quart enameled or stainless-steel pot and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the foam and scum that rise to the surface. Add the coarsely chopped onion and the bay leaf, peppercorns and 1 teaspoon of salt, reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes.

Strain the contents of the pot through a fine sieve into a bowl pressing down hard on the fish trimming with the back of a spoon to extract all of the juices. Measure and reserve 4 cups of the fish stock.

Wash the pot, add the oil and heat it over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the cup of coarsely chopped onions and the garlic, stirring frequently cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the reserved stock.

Place the crab on it's back and, with the point of a small sharp knife, pry off the pointed flap or apron. Cut away the head just behind the eyes. With a cleaver or heavy knife, cut the crab into quarters. Shell, clean and quarter the second crab in the same manner and set both aside on a plate.

Under cold running water, scrub the mussels and clams thoroughly with a stiff brush or soapless steel-mesh scouring pad, and remove the black tufts from the mussels. Season the halibut/ling cod on both sides with 1/2 tsp. salt. Set the mussels and clams and the cod aside on wax paper or plates.

To assemble the Cioppino, arrange the pieces of crab in the bottom of a 6 to 8 quart enameled casserole. lay the mussels, clams and scallops on top and pour in the tomato mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 10 minutes. Add the pieces of halibut/ling cod and prawns, cover the casserole again and continue to cook for 8 - 10 minutes longer.

The Cioppino is done when the mussel and clam shells have opened and the halibut/ling cod flakes easily when prodded gently with a fork. Discard any mussels or clams that remain closed.
Sprinkle a pinch of dry thyme and oregano on top.

Serve at once, directly from the casserole, or spoon the cod and shellfish into a large heated tureen and pour the broth over them. Serve with garlic bread.
Bon Appetito!


Sounds great BUT how many does this serve???



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