Dungeness crabs are prolific this year, like last year.
It's a good year to make ciopinno. Dungeness crab legs (plus bodies if you like "crab butter"), clams, mussels, maybe some firm-flesh fish like salmon, halibuts, sturgeon, shark.
On crabs, I recommend getting quickly boiled and sold refrigerated, or bought live at the dock. This aquarium live crab thing doesn't work for me. It works for lobsters, but crabs in tanks generate a nasty ammoina flavor. Full-tank water exchanges every 30 minutes would solve this problem, but I don't think sellers have fiigured out this.
If you are going to make cioppino, there are lots of good recipes on the web.
Here is mine, not on the web, no exact ingredient amounts. It's a great dish for experimenting and finding out what you and your loved ones like.
So here are my ingredients that people I've cooked for enjoy.
Fluid: water with salt is good; storebought low-sodium chicken or beef stock, or homemade, or homemade fish stock. Add an eighth to a quarter volume of red wine.
Tomato paste, a small can for every gallon of liquid stock. 24 ounces of canned tomatoes for every gallon of stock.
AT least one whole dungeness crab, legs severed, but the body added. Two pounds of clams, in shell, and two pounds of mussels, whole, in shell.
A quater cup to a half cup of onion powder. Two white onions, sliced, or diced, and grilled to brown edges.
Five large cloves of garlic, finely chopped, or grated with a Microplane, or motar-and-pestled or put with a little fluid into a Vitamix. Nothing wrong with going with a full head of garlic, if you like garlic. Some chopped red and green peppers are great.
Some thyme, dry or fresh, a couple bay leaves, some rosemary, some basil leaves. When you get advanced, you may find out a little nutmeg and some coriander seed are nice. Some white whole peppercorns cooked hereooke this for a couple hours, to fwo to four hours is fine. Add salt as you feel tastes good. Large crystal Kosher salt or sea salt, or Hain's iiodized fine-grain salt is all good.
Then add your crab, clams, and mussels, (and fish) Cooke them for another 40 minutes to an hour.
About 10 minutes before done, add some parsley. and sliced roma tomatoes Also some fine-chopped shalllots or cippino onions, and finely chopped basil leaves. You can also add some grated parmesan or asiago cheese at this time, or serve it at table for a soup topping.
If you're not on the west coast, substituting king crab and/or lobbster , they both work well..
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