Friday, January 01, 2010

Crustacean Celebration: Beach Cioppino

Nothing's better when you're at the beach than fresh seafood pulled from the ocean that very day, and we make a point of having as much of it as possible when we're there.

Our recent sojourn at the beach involved plenty of crab, oysters and clams, including this terrific cioppino that took less than an hour to put together. Talk about eating local!

Netarts Bay Cioppino

1 crab, shelled, or 1 lb. crab meat
Half dozen oysters in the shell
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
6-10 green olives, pitted and chopped
2 dried Hungarian aci sivri peppers, chopped, or 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lg. can tomatoes, crushed
2 c. fish stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in deep skillet. Add onions and garlic and sauté till translucent. Add carrots and continue sautéing, then add fennel and green pepper and sauté till all vegetables are tender. Stir in bay leaves and basil, then add crushed tomatoes and fish stock. Simmer at least 1/2 hour or more (recipe can be made ahead to this point, with fish added when ready to serve).

Bring 1/2 c. water to boil in med. saucepan, add oysters, bring back to boil and cook 3 min. Crack open shells and remove oysters. Add oysters and strained broth from cooking to tomato mixture along with crab. Serve with green salad and large loaf of bread for sopping.

Other seafood such as clams and shrimp can be used, and slices of sautéed Spanish chorizo sausage are also terrific.

Check out these other examples of the crabby-licious goodness that is the Crustacean Celebration at GoodStuffNW: pasta with crab and radicchio; hot artichoke and crab dip; crab crostini; and killer crab cakes.

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