During lent, I try my hardest to remember to make seafood dishes on Friday for my Catholic husband. I must admit, some weeks it works out better than others. For Good Friday, I decided to try my hand at a quick and easy cioppino. This is one of my favorite rustic italian dishes. Best part? A healthy and nutritious one pot meal that can be on the table in around thirty minutes!
To start, the aromatics. One medium onion, two shallots, and five cloves of garlic.
Roughly chop the onion and the shallots. I left the garlic whole to put through the garlic press. If you prefer, the garlic could just as easily be diced or grated.
The onion and shallot go into my favorite dutch oven with about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. My favorite olive oil right now is Arbequina because it has such a rich buttery taste.
Once the onion and shallot start to get tender, press in the garlic. Add dried oregano, basil, red chili flakes, salt and pepper. In the summer, I would definitely use fresh basil and oregano. Sadly, this time of year, I didn’t have any on hand. Saute two to three minutes until fragrant. By now, the smells of the spices wafting through the house will make your mouth water.
Add four cups of unsalted seafood stock. If you don’t have seafood stock clam juice or vegetable stock would work nicely as well. Whichever stock you choose, I recommend sticking to unsalted so you control the sodium in the recipe. Also add in one thirty-two ounce can of chopped san marzano tomatoes.
Now for the seafood. This can be varied according to your preference, what looks fresh, and what inspires you at your local seafood monger. I decided on one pound of cod, one pound of oysters, one pound of scallops and one pound of shrimp. Confession time. I bought the preshucked oysters. Less work and still fresh and delicious! The cod gets cut into roughly one inches cubes, while everything else stayed whole. I completely forgot to take pictures of the rest of the seafood, but I am sure you get the idea.
Add in a handful of chopped fresh parsley, the cod, scallops and oysters. Are you drooling yet? I was at this point! Cook for approximately three minutes.
Now it’s time to add in the shrimp. Had the scallops been on the small side, I would have waited to add them until now as well. Simmer, covered for an additional four minutes or so until the shrimp are a beautiful shade of pink and fish flakes nicely. Most important word of advice? Do not over cook the seafood!
At the last-minute, add in another handful of fresh chopped parsley.
Enjoy with some nice crusty bread. My only regret with this meal? That we do not have larger bowls!