My mother went to college in San Francisco, and her first college boyfriendturned her on to cioppino back in the 1940s. Growing up, summertime meantcioppino time. Friday night was reserved for black-and-blue grilled sirloin,corn, and tomato salad. Saturday was either striped bass grilled over an openfire on the beach or a cioppino dinner. I love the simplicity of this recipe.The other dish is a tad complex with quite a few moving parts, but it is awesomeand relatively easy once you make your way through it the first time. Also, plenty of the pieces can be done ahead of time. Essentially, it is a more highlyevolved version of poached shrimp, served over cold tomato gazpacho, and worthevery minute spent on it.
San Francisco Lobster and Clam Cioppino
1 c. dry white wine
1 qt. fresh tomato sauce (remember last week's recipe?)
1/2 c. diced shallots
1/4 t. red chile flakes
1 sprig fresh basil
1/2 t. dried oregano, or more to taste . . . I find a little goes along way.
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 c. olive oil
2 small lobsters, each weighing roughly 1-1/4 lbs.
3 dozen cherrystone clams, scrubbed and rinsed
Place the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and herbs. Cook briefly and add the white wine. It will begin boiling almost right away. Count to 30 and addthe tomato sauce.
Kill the lobsters by plunging a knife through their carapace 1 inch behind their eyes. Split them lengthwise, reserving the roe or tomalley if itfalls out of the shell.
When sauce is boiling again add the clams, lobsters, andlobster bits. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or so, tossing the pot once topromote even cookery. Serve when the clams are open. If you like, you can addmussels, calamari, crab, or fin fish pieces about halfway through, but I likethe lobster and clam version on its own.
Sprinkle with a hefty amount of chopped parsley and season withsalt and pepper and serve in wide, low bowls with plenty of crusty bread
Fresh Tomato Cocktails with Soused Shrimp and IcedAquavit
Make the shrimp ahead of time, then make the tomato puree and refrigeratebriefly before composing the cocktails.
3 lbs. green zebra tomatoes
1 t. sea salt
1 t. Crystalhot sauce
2 t. Worcester sauce
1 t. ground cumin
1 T. lemon juice
Peel and gently seed the tomatoes. Pulse in a food processor, or put through a food mill, andseason with the remaining ingredients.
Divide into 4 or 6 large, wide glasses, rimmed with seasonedcaraway salt, then add a few of the shrimp and serve, drizzling with iced aquavit if you care to.
2 lbs. medium sized shrimp (about 15 per pound)
1 bay leaf
1 T. crushed peppercorns
1 lemon in quarters
3 ears sweet corn kernels, cut from the cob
1 c. shaved scallions
1 lemon thinly sliced
2 fresh hot green chiles, split
5 sprigs fresh marjoram
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
3 T. minced dill
3 T. white vinegar
2 T. sugar
1/2 c. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauce pan, place the shrimp in just enough waterto cover. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, and the quartered lemon,squeezed. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the corn, marjoram, chile and stir once. Remove from heat. Drain and turn into a serving bowl. Remove the lemon and bay leaf. Fold in the scallions and lemon slices. Pour the vinaigrette over the corn/shrimp. Let stand for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally, and it’s readyto go.