Spicy Seafood Stew (Cioppino)

After a weekend of fighting a head cold (and way too many orange-ball cookies), I knew I had to cook something spicy and warm, yet healthy.

I had some salmon and shrimp in the freezer, and I set about making a stew in the theme of a cioppino. My mom says she ate this all the time when she lived in San Fran. I guess it normally has crab legs in it, but we all can’t be so lucky 🙂 I settled for the salmon and shrimp.

After sweating 2 onions and 4 cloves of minced garlic in olive oil, I added a pinch of oregano, a tablespoon of red chili flakes, and a pinch of salt and thyme. Then,  a cup of dry red wine, a bay leaf, and the tails of the shrimp (to get their flavor, I fished them out later…no pun intended).

I also added 2 cups of chicken broth, a bottle of clam juice (which creeps me out, but works when you can’t make your own fish stock), and a can of plum tomatoes (28 oz), crushed up by hand. I like to use whole tomatoes when I want some chunks, but not all big diced tomatoes.

After letting that boil for a good 20 minutes, I tasted it and adjusted for salt. The seafood only needed a few minutes to cook through, so I added it just before we wanted to eat. I added about a pound each of salmon, cut into large pieces, and shrimp, also cut into chunks. A sprinkling of fresh basil leaves and a side of garlic-sourdough toast perfected the meal. I am pretty sure it did me more good than all that tylenol cold medicine 🙂

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