It took a few years for me to attempt Cioppino, the luscious San Francisco seafood classic. Why did I wait so long to start cooking this classic? Now that I know how easy this stew is to prepare, it has become little jewel in the Bijouxs Kitchen.
SAN FRANCISCO CIOPPINO
History tells us the that this recipe originated at Fisherman’s Wharf during the 1930’s. The stew name ’cioppino’ itself is not confirmed, but believed to be the result of Italian fisherman on the wharf ‘chipping in” to the communal stew pots on the wharf. Or maybe the name comes from a fish stew in Genoa called cioppino. No matter, this stew has become a beloved San Francisco staple.
San Franciso was on our family’s food road trip map. I loved walking on the wharf as a child, watching the boats and nibbling on fresh shrimp cocktail. Cioppino was my dinner favorite.
The great thing about this stew is its versatility. Just toss in just about any fish and shellfish, the days catch or what you love. For me the favorites include mussels, shrimp, halibut and crab.
It also is a great make-ahead recipe. Prepare and cook the soup base which will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days. Then, re-heat to boiling, reduce heat to low. Add the cleaned/prepped seafood. Just cover and simmer on low about 5-7 minutes until the mussels pop open and the shrimp and crabmeat is opaque.
Cioppino is a wonderful for entertaining, the broth made ahead and include a wide variety of seafood, something for everyone. Please enjoy this little jewel from San Francisco.