Shrimp and Clam Cioppino

A while back, when we were still living in Pensacola, I briefly mentioned an awesome fish market that we had there and frequently visited. It’s one of the things we miss most about that city.

Last week, Nick had to go to Pensacola for a couple days to do some Navy stuff. He brought me back a present– a giant foam cooler packed with ice and a bounty of seafood!

The cooler was full of shrimp, clams, oysters, tuna, salmon and wahoo (a new to me fish). We wasted no time and had the oysters and tuna the first night Nick was back. The salmon and wahoo would last a bit longer, so into the freezer they went.

That left shrimpers and clammies to be cooked up this past weekend. I contemplated a paella, but then realized there was zero chance of finding saffron in Enid. Nick suggested cioppino, and I thought that sounded like a great idea. Though the original recipe calls for a larger variety of seafood, it definitely still worked with just a couple types.

Shrimp and Clam Cioppino

(adapted from Rachel Ray)

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 to 3 flat fillets of anchovies, drained
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (32-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 20 large shrimp, deveined and shells removed
  • About 20 small clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • Toasted French bread slices, for soaking up the sauce

In a large pot over medium heat combine oil, crushed pepper, anchovies, garlic, and bay leaf. Let the anchovies melt into the oil.

Add celery and onion to the pot and saute for a few minutes to soften.

Add wine to the pot. Reduce wine a minute, then add chicken stock, tomatoes, thyme, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to medium low.

Simmer about 5 minutes, then add shrimp and clams, and cover pot. Cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until clams open and shrimp are pink.

Serve in shallow bowls with lots of croutons.

The flavor of the cioppino was awesome, with the perfect amount of spice! The only problem was that the clams were a bit sandy. I’m not sure if there is a way to clean them better? If not, next time I’d either use mussels instead, or maybe steam the clams separately and throw them in before serving?

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