The key to cioppino is to make it your own. Use whatever seafood you love and is in season at the time.It's a tomato based fish stew that can be made with anything available. It usually contains a mixture of shellfish and fish (usually white fish) but beyond that any combination of ingredients can be added. While cioppino is an Italian-American dish that is supposed to have originated in San Francisco. This recipe is my personal modification of Mauro Colagreco's cioppino from the 50 Best cookbook and is very similar to one that I have included on multiple restaurant menus.
First step is to make a fish stock. I used the bodies of the snapper that I will be using in the soup.
For the Stock:
1 Onion (Large)
2 Red Snapper Fish Bodies (or whatever fish scraps you have. You can also use canned clam juice if you are in a pinch)
1 gal Water
2 Bay leaf
2 Sprigs Thyme
Allow to simmer for 2 hours and then strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bones and scales. Refrigerate.
2 Snow Crabs (I would have preferred rock crab but couldn't find any #ThanksCovid)
1 Shallot (cut into thin rings)
3 Cloves garlic (minced)
2 Lemons (squeezed for juice)
1/2 lb Red Snapper (cut into medallions)
1/2 cup Candied Tomatoes
to taste Dried Chili Peppers
3/4 cup White Wine (I prefer chablis but use whatever you have)
1/2 cup Marinara
2 sprigs Thyme
2 Bay leaf
In a large pot add two inches of water and some salt. Bring to a boil then add the crab. Cook for 10 minutes and then remove from the water. Break off the legs and claws and discard the body. Save for later.
In the bottom of a dutch oven saute garlic and shallots with olive oil until golden (~2 minutes). Add the anchovies and continue to cook for another few minutes. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the anchovies.
Add the mussels, shrimp, white wine, marinara, thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice, candied tomato and chili peppers. Bring to a boil then add the fish stock and snapper. Again bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with scallion, parsley, and olive oil. Enjoy!!