Saturday, February 2, 2013

Landlubber Cioppino

To download a copy of the recipe for Landlubber Cioppino, click HERE.

In its original form, Cioppino was a stew made from the bounty brought to the San Francisco waterfront by returning fishing boats. Fresh-caught fish and shellfish – often served in the shell – were cooked in a tomato and wine broth and served with good bread. As this delightful meal made its way inland, catch-of-the-day often got replaced by seafood from the freezer case, but the result was still a hot delicious combination of several different fish and shellfish.

Here in Jersey City, we have a waterfront too. It’s just generally considered best not to eat most of what you might catch there. And so came the inspiration for this week’s recipe: Landlubber Cioppino. Blending shrimp, beef, chicken and sausage in a tomato and wine broth, it’s a land-based meal soup with the soul of a stew. Serve it with a good bread on the side (and a glass of the wine used to make the broth), and you’re ready to take the chill out of the coldest winter night.

Some Cook’s Notes before we begin:

  • You’ll note the recipe calls for chicken drumsticks. This is an homage to the in-shell crab, mussels, etc. used to make the original Cioppino. If you prefer to use a boneless cut of chicken, feel free.

  • When stewing the beef, I have to warn you: an hour and forty-five minutes of simmering an uncovered skillet of tomato-juice covered meat will spatter on your stove. Not to worry; a moist sponge takes it right off.

This recipe makes about 6 meal-size servings.

To stew the beef:

Season ¼ cup of all-purpose flour with salt and pepper.

Pat 1 to 1-1/4 lbs. of stew beef cubes dry with a paper towel. Dredge them in the flour mixture to coat, shaking off excess flour.

Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet. Brown the beef very well on all sides, then remove to a plate.

Add enough of a 46 ounce bottle of tomato juice to cover the beef. Add 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard.

Mix well, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet, and bring to a simmer.

Simmer uncovered until the meat is fork tender, about 1-3/4 hours. Add more of the tomato juice as needed during the stewing to keep the meat covered. (If you run out of juice and need to add more liquid, water can be used.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside till needed.

While the beef is stewing:

Warm 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a grille pan over medium heat. Brown 1-1/4 lb. of turkey sausages on all sides.

Begin preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

When the sausages have finished browning, wrap in foil and set aside.

Pat the 1 to 1-1/4 lbs. of chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel. Add a little salt. Brown them on the same grille pan you used for the sausages. (They should be well browned, but don’t have to be cooked through, since they’re going into the oven after this.)

After the drumsticks have browned in the grille pan, wrap them in foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes..

After the beef has been stewing for about an hour, warm 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add 1 large diced onion to the large pot and cook till translucent.

Add 4 minced cloves of garlic and cook till fragrant, about another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add 2 tsp salt, a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (including juice), ½ tsp hot sauce, 1-1/4 cup dry white wine (chardonnay or similar), 4 cups chicken stock, and 1 bay leaf. Stir to combine.

Cover the large pot, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.

While the soup liquid is cooking, slice the sausages into 1-1/2” pieces.

After the soup liquid has finished simmering, add the browned chicken, browned beef, browned sausage, 1 lb. uncooked shrimp (shelled and deveined), ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried basil, and 2 Tbsp dried parsley.

Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for an additional five minutes until the shrimp is cooked through.

Divide into bowls, making sure every portion gets all four types of protein. Serve with a good bread and a glass of the chardonnay you used to make the soup liquid.

To download a copy of the recipe for Landlubber Cioppino, click HERE.

Now that should keep you warm this winter!

That’s it for this week. Please visit again next week for another kitchen-tested, home-cook friendly recipe. Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)

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