BARRY SAYS: I love seafood. Just about any kind, so any dish that combines several types of deliciousness from the sea is fine by me.
KELLEY SAYS: I don't totally agree, as there are some things I'm not fond of, but this is a wonderful dish with rich flavors, and you can pretty much choose whatever you want — or that you can find. I really wanted some squid, but I couldn't find any, and the recipe I based this on did not use crab claws, but I had some.
BARRY: It's amazing what you have tucked away in the freezer and cabinets. In any case, this seafood soup was delicious on a balmy December afternoon.
KELLEY: Yeah, it's a good, hearty, warm-you-up meal. Who knew it would be almost summerlike on the day we tried it. By the way, this is a version of cioppino, which is the classic Italian-American Christmas Eve meal.
BARRY: Would you say it was an easy meal to make?
KELLEY: Yes. I mean, all you do is cook the broth, then strain it, put the fish in and let it cook.
BARRY: I had no difficulty eating it.
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, halved
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium celery rib with leaves, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 pound of shrimp, shelled and deveined (reserve 1/2 of the shells to make broth)
2 cups dry white wine, divided
1 can (28) ounces) plum tomatoes with juice, broken up with hand or a spoon
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups water
2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon fish base
1 8 ounce clam juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1 large piece of cod
1 bag of mussels in shell, cleaned and debearded
1/2 pound Bay scallops
10 Jonah crab claws
Parsley and lemon zest for garnish
Saute olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, onion, celery, carrot, parsley and shrimp shells in a pan for about 10 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups wine, and cook for 10 more minutes.
Combine tomatoes, salt and pepper, water, fish base and clam juice, and add to broth. Cook for 45 minutes.
In a large colander, strain broth into large bowl, and discard the remnants. (I did it about a cupful at a time to avoid making a mess.)
Return broth to pot and add remaining 1/2 cup white wine and Greek seasoning.
Heat broth to a boil, and add cod and mussels first. Reduce heat to a simmer, and add shrimp, scallops and crab claws. Cook until firm, but not overcooked.
Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon zest. Serve with garlic toast. Serves 4 people.
Contact Barry and Kelley Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.