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Dungeness Crab Cioppino


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  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 20 shrimp shells
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 fennel bulb trimmed. cored, and diced
  • 3 celery stalks chopped roughly
  • 2 carrots chopped roughly
  • 2 onions chopped roughly
  • 1 leek (white and light-green part) chopped roughly
  • 1 parsley stems handful
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 4 coriander seeds
  • 4 white peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 quarts water
  • 6 red bell peppers cut in half
  • 6 yellow bell peppers cut in half
  • 4 jalapeño peppers halved, seeded
  • 20 vine-ripened tomatoes cored, halved
  • 1 head garlic cloves crushed
  • (OK for the skins to stay on)
  • 1 cup pure olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 12 clams
  • 12 black mussels
  • 6 prawns - (16/20 size)
  • 18 rock shrimp
  • 12 day boat scallops or 24 bay scallops
  • 1 cooked Dungeness crab meat only
  • 1 bunch basil


Servings 6


Step 1

Make the stock: Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp shells and sear them until they turn red. Add the brandy and stir until it just evaporates. Add the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the fennel, celery, carrots, onion, leek, parsley, thyme, coriander, peppercorns and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften and turn glassy. Add the white wine, turn the heat to high, and cook until the wine nearly evaporates. Add the water, bring to a boil, and cook over medium-low heat until the stock reduces by one-third to one-half. Strain the mixture through a chinois or other fine strainer; discard the solids and return the stock to the pot.

Make the cioppino: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the peppers, tomatoes and garlic with the olive oil. Spread the vegetables on a large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once, or until the vegetables are just tender. Add the vegetables to the shellfish stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree the stock in batches in a food processor or blender. If making ahead, cool, cover and refrigerate.

To finish the cioppino: Return the stock to the pot and place over medium heat. When the stock simmers, add the clams, mussels and prawns, and cook until the clams and mussels open. Remove the shellfish and reserve. Add the rock shrimp and scallops to the stock. Cook for 4 minutes. Return all of the shellfish and the picked crabmeat to the stock. Add the basil. Heat through.

To serve: Remove the basil. Arrange equal portions of the shellfish in wide soup bowls. Mound crabmeat in the center of each. Ladle the hot stock over the shellfish.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

Nutrition Per Serving: 590 calories; 40 g protein; 40 g carbohydrate; 24 g fat (3 g saturated); 221 mg cholesterol; 446 mg sodium; 9 g fiber.

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