Friday, December 18, 2009

Cioppino for Feast of the Seven Fishes

Holy cannoli! I almost forgot. Joe at Italyville.com is hosting Feast of the Seven Fishes and the deadline is (gulp) tonight.I made something to bring.... I just didn't bring it yet.
Cioppino!Or as Aunt Fay said, "Neopolitan Stew." She hosted the Feast for decades. All "us" cousins looked at the sumptuous Christmas Eve platters of fish and pushed the seafood aside and ate the pastas. This is where age has its advantages. I know better now - as did my aunts, uncles and grandmother!
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Since I do not live in the "seaport of the world," I made do with what Minnesota has to offer. The meal was quick and easy to prepare and I had a short vacation to Naples this evening. All for the price of some shrimp, a few mussels and clams.
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INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)
1 fennel bulb - chopped
1 large shallot - chopped
4 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
1 rosemary sprig
1 can vegetable broth
1/2 small bottle clam juice
1 cup white wine
1 large can of peeled tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup tomato paste (sometimes I leave it out when I don't want it sweet)
8 clams - scrubbed
3/4 pound mussels - scrubbed
1/2 pound shrimp (peeled, deveined)
1 tilapia fillet - can use any white fish
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 pound spaghetti (optional)
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In large stew/soup pot, heat olive oil. Add chopped fennel, shallots and garlic. Saute till fennel is soft (about 4-5 minutes). Add vegetable broth, clam juice, tomatoes, wine and rosemary. Let simmer for ten minutes and break up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Add mussels and clams and let them simmer for 8-10 minutes - until they open. Discard any unopened ones. Add shrimp and tilapia or other white fish and let it simmer for five minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve as a soup or over spaghetti. Savor. Alternate play Volare in the background with Christmas songs. Go to Italy for Christmas Eve - even for just one hour.

23 comments:

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Claudia since I married my Southern Italian (Calabrese) husband 35 years ago I have been making the Feast of the Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve. He always has to have to have baccala (salt dried cod)two ways and my daughter loves fried shrimp and my son loves stuffed calamari. I love stuffed lobster tails, and I also make salmon for my Mom and we have steamed clams and mussels as our appetizer.

I also have made cioppino on occasion...so delicious!

I love seafood of all kinds so this is one of my favorite meals :-)

Buon Natale!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh yummy, great seafood stew

Midlife Jobhunter said...

You could probably find some lutfisk up there in Minnysota. Just boil and dip in a hellaciously large bowl of melted butter.

5 Star Foodie said...

Your cioppino sounds fantastic! I love the combination of all the ingredients!

Carolyn Jung said...

I tell ya, I often wish I had been born Italian just so I could celebrate Christmas with a feast like this! ;)
Seven courses of seafood is a heavenly meal!

theUngourmet said...

Wonderful! I have never cooked with mussels or anything else in a shell (except for crab). I really should give this a try! Yum!

My Little Space said...

Seafood spagheti! Yumm...mm... I love eating everything in it.

janet said...

That is an interesting custom. I love Volare.

Katy ~ said...

Luv this dish. Haven't had it since I left Boston. It would be worth the trek just to have this again; it's soooo very good!

cheapAppetite said...

Lovely dish. It's difficult to make a seafood dish with seven fishes when you live in the middle of the continent. But you did it really well. Hope you win the contest:)

OysterCulture said...

Your cioppino sounds amazing and what an absolute treat. We do not have an real traditional Christmas food, I may just have to make this one the first on my list. Thanks for sharing.

Sophie said...

What a georgous & festive dish, Claudia!!

I wish you & your family a happy, fun & lovely Christmas!

gaga said...

Oh yum! One of my favorite dishes ever, but I have yet to try making it myself. Thanks for the recipe!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

This looks just wonderful. I think I'll try it for new years!

Barbara GF said...

I love holiday traditions, Claudia. Your dish for the feast looks beautiful.
Happy Holidays!

Ruth said...

Oh boy, I just loove that! I have just found my Xmas eve lunch! Yum! Thanks so much!

Natashya Kitchen Puppies said...

What a great dish! I was like you, I would have only eaten the pasta - but now I treasure the seafood.

girlichef said...

I am definitely ready for at least an hour in Italy this Christmas!!! Your Cioppino looks delicious...and transporting ;)

Katherine Aucoin said...

This will warm you up on a cold Minnesota evening for sure! this just shows you do fantastic under pressure!

Merry Christmas!

Bridgett said...

My grandparents would host a big cioppino feast each year and as a child I never quite appreciated it. Now I miss those days! Yours looks heavenly.

pegasuslegend said...

I could eat this everyday, as I love this dish..my mouth is watering and its 5am looking at the picture...man I would love some of this right now....sure would be nice to spend Christmas living near you! love this thanks for Sharing sorry it took me so long to write this, working so many hours its almost over! Merry Christmas to you and yours, Buon natale and a safe and healthy NEW YEAR!

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

The cioppino sounds glorious, totally indicated for this festive season :)

Happy Holidays!

Cheers,

Gera

joe@italyville said...

Thanks for joining the feast Claudia!! buon anno!