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Compliments of the Chef: Cioppino from Big Fin Seafood Kitchen

Written By Scott Joseph On August 27, 2018

Big Fin Cioppino

Cioppino is a popular fish stew that originated in San Francisco. Legend has it that the fishermen would all contribute — or chip in — to a large stew with whatever they’d caught that day.

James Slattery, executive chef at Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, says that “because the region is plentiful with Dungeness crab, you will generally find restaurants including Dungeness as the main seafood in their Cioppino.” So he includes it in his.

Watch Slattery show you how to prepare the dish in the video below. Then head out to your favorite fishmongers and ask them to chip in to your own stew.

Big Fin Cioppino

Serves 4-6
Prep time :20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

2 quarts of a seafood broth or a fish broth, clam broth or if in a pinch or you can use chicken broth.
2 jars (24 ounces jars) of marinara pasta sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons whole butter
8 ounces sweet corn kernels
1 bulb of fennel sliced thin (1 ½ cup)
1 green bell pepper diced (1 cup)
12 red bliss potatoes cut into quarters
1 bunch of parsley chopped
Optional: 6-8 ounces diced Spanish chorizo (make sure if there is a wax skin to peel it off)
14.5 ounces tomatoes diced (canned)
1 bunch of sliced scallion
4 table spoons chopped garlic
1 shallot
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon each of dried basil, oregano and thyme
Optional: dried chili flakes, a pinch or more depending upon how much spice you like.
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup of Pernod or an anisette liquor (sambuca)
1 pound 21/25 shrimp peeled and deveined. Tail off is your choice
2 pounds mussels
2 pounds of littleneck or top neck clams
2 pounds of a white fish cut into 2-inch cubes: preferably grouper, snapper or fresh cod or monkfish. But any fish you like works.
1 pound of scallops: either bay or jumbo
2 pounds of crab meat: snow, king or Dungeness. If you don’t mind keeping it rustic, leave some of the crab leg in the shell for a visual effect.
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
Season further before serving or as we call it in the kitchen, season to taste.
Fresh crusty bread, for serving


Preheat oven to 350 F, place cut potatoes on a sheet tray or in an oven safe pan and add a little oil, salt and pepper and cook in the oven for approximately 30-45 minutes or until tender.

Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a large stockpot, add oil, chorizo, shallots, garlic, fennel, bell pepper and parsley. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until fennel is soft. Add the salt and pepper and stir in.

Deglaze with the lemon juice and Pernod. Add canned tomatoes to the pot (break them into chunks if to big as you add them). Add broth (seafood broth and marinara), bay leaves, basil, thyme and oregano. Mix well. Cover and simmer 45 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, fish and crabmeat, bring to boil.

Add the cooked potatoes and the can of corn, chili pepper flakes and lower heat, cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes until clams open.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with scallions and parsley and serve with warm, crusty bread!

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