This week, we're playing with questions submitted by other participants!
#1. blueyes’ question. What’s your favorite seafood recipe?
My favorite seafood without a doubt is broiled lobster tail. But since that isn't much of a recipe, I'll go with the sentimental favorite of Rachael Ray's Cioppino. We made it for Christmas Eve dinner the year our first child was Baby Jesus in the Christmas Eve Mass and we had all the relatives over for seven fishes to celebrate. My aunt, who trained at the Cordon Bleu, poached a salmon! It was amazing. But the cioppino, easy as it was, held its own with that stunner and got us to seven fishes (a tradition) in a jiffy. Recipe below.
#2. Italian Ice. Like it, love it or leave it?
Love it. For years when I was working, there was a sidewalk vendor who had soft pretzels and water ice and for $2, I had an awesome summer lunch. Lemon's my favorite, but I am oddly fond of root beer too.
#3. What’s your favorite crunchy food? (anything - pickles, chips, fruit, etc.)
Utz extra dark pretzels. Yum.
#4. Have you ever eaten so much of something that you felt or got sick?
Strangely, I think the answer is no. I can consume huge quantities of things with no adverse effects. Once when I was little (3?) I ate two huge jars of pickled herring before a party and never was the worse for wear. But my father never ate chocolate after one unfortunate childhood Easter when he ate his whole basket before church. Happily, the aversion was not genetic.
Wanna play? Click on the button on my sidebar for "Fun Crafts and Recipes." And enjoy the cioppino recipe. Do NOT skip the bread!
Cioppino: A Fine Kettle of Fish
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Show: 30 Minute Meals Episode: Holiday Maneuvers
Cook Time: 25 min
Yield: 4 healthy servings
1/4 cup (3 turns around the pan in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 to 3 flat fillets of anchovies, drained
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup good quality dry white wine
1 (14-ounce) container chicken stock
1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed (about 1 tablespoon)
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 pounds cod, cut into 2-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
8 large shrimp, ask for deveined easy-peel or peel and devein
8 sea scallops
16 to 20 raw mussels, scrubbed
A loaf of fresh, crusty bread, for mopping
In a large pot over moderate heat combine oil, crushed pepper, anchovies, garlic, and bay. Let anchovies melt into oil. The anchovies act as a natural salt, the pepper flakes will infuse the oil, providing heat.
Chop celery and onion near stove and add to the pot as you work. Saute vegetables for a few minutes to begin to soften and add wine to the pot. Reduce wine a minute, then add chicken stock, tomatoes, thyme, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to medium low.
Season fish chunks with salt and pepper. Add fish and simmer 5 minutes, giving the pot a shake now and then. Do not stir your soup with a spoon after the addition of fish or you will break it up. Add shrimp, scallops, and mussels and cover pot. Cook 10 minutes, giving the pot a good shake now and again.
Remove the lid and discard any mussels that do not open. Carefully ladle stew into shallow bowls and pass bread at the table.