Apparently, winter months make me crazy for crab. Two years ago, I was living in Chicago and went all over town searching for Dungeness crab…but it was so expensive I got stone crab instead. Last year, in addition to the usual crab feeds, I had a jones for lobster rolls, which turned into crab rolls. This year, we’ve had steamed crab and Annie’s mac n cheese…
…and cioppino–a tomato-based seafood stew originated by Italian fisherman in San Francisco. I’ve heard that Tadich Grill has the best cioppino in San Francisco and luckily, their cioppino recipe is available online.
Cioppino is super flexible and easy to pull together. I halved the recipe, forgot to add red bell peppers and used sake instead of white wine (some recipes use red wine). I also winged it with the seafood, using 1 dungeness crab, 6 mussels, 1 cod filet, 1/2 lb seafood mix from Trader Joe’s (bay shrimp, scallops, calamari) and 1/2 lb large shrimp. I really liked the flavor of this recipe but next time I would use less flour for a soupier consistency (2-3 Tbsps instead of 1-2 cups), use more mussels (so delish!), add some hot pepper flakes for heat and use a white fish other than cod (halibut or swordfish). I’ll probably try this recipe again in the next few weeks with the tweaks and see where that leaves me.
p.s. Serve with plenty of crusty sourdough to sop up the delicious broth!
Happy crab season! Crabinsanity hasn’t left the system yet…there are already two crabfests on our calendar for January.