Delicious Cioppino – Fireplace Reds & Winter Whites
Celebratory comfort food isn’t yet a category for winter dining, but it should be. And the first entry into that category is Cioppino . Cioppino is a seafood and shellfish stew, invented by Italian San Francisco fishermen. It cooks up surprisingly quickly and manages to both comfort and impress in the same dish. Thanks to the shellfish, it feels extravagant. Thanks to the tomato broth, it’s completely cozy.
We made this wine-based broth with Girl & Dragon Malbec, the perfect dry red to complement the rich flavors. You could also swap out the Malbec for a rich red like Girl & Dragon Cabernet Sauvignon. Like, Cioppino, Girl & Dragon Cabernet Sauvignon, also hails from the North Coast of California. Cioppino also pairs beautifully with crisp winter white wines like Girl & Dragon Pinot Grigio.
Girl & Dragon Cioppino Recipe
1.5 pounds monkfish, cut into 1” pieces
1 pound Dungeness crabmeat
1 pound large raw shrimp
2 pounds mussels that have been scrubbed clean and had their beards removed
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes
2 cups Girl & Dragon Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 bay leaves
Additional salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup minced parsley for garnish
Put ½ cup olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Heat over medium high heat until shimmery and loose. Add onions and bell pepper to the oil, sauté until soft. Add minced garlic, toss with the onion and bell pepper for another minute. Add the whole can of tomatoes, bottle of clam juice, Girl & Dragon Malbec, fish or bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, barely bubbling, for 15 minutes.
While the tomato broth is bubbling, steam mussels in 1.5 cups of water until they’re cracked open. Drain the broth and add to the tomato broth. Also, while the tomato broth is bubbling, shell and devein shrimp, cut shrimp in half.
After 15-20 minutes, add the monk fish and shrimp and cook, covered, until the fish is just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the steamed mussles and crabmeat. It’s important that you don’t overcook because the shrimp and fish will get tough.
Serve Cioppino in big rustic bowls, garnished with parsley chopped roughly. Serve with crusty, toasty, buttered sourdough bread and Girl & Dragon Malbec.
Don’t forget to put out a dish to collect the mussel shells, and tiny forks to help pull the meat out of the shells.