Try our delicious Fish Fume recipe as a base for this stew
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 45 minutes
2 quarts fish fumet, (can substitute mixture of 2 parts water to 1 part clam juice)
6 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 head fennel, sliced
Grey salt or Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted fennel seed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum San Marzano tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup pernod liquor
5 whole jalapenos
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley leaves
3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon leaves
2 pounds littleneck clams
1 pound cooked crab legs, cracked into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1/2 pound of langoustine, shelled and cut into pieces
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pounds halibut fillet, skinned, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 pound sea scallops, foot removed
Heat 2 cups fish fumet, clam juice or water in a small saucepan.
Add saffron, simmer about 5 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil oil in an 8-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, allowing it to brown for about 20 seconds.
Add onions, fennel, and a pinch of salt. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes.
Add fennel seed, bay leaf and oregano.
Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
Add tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until paste darkens a bit, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes (squeeze them slightly through your fingers to soften first), white wine, pernod and the saffron flavored fish fumet, clam juice or water.
Add remaining fish fumet, clam juice or water, whole jalapenos and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until liquid has reduced by half. Cover pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
Skim the fat from the soup, and add parsley, basil and tarragon.
Add clams and simmer until clams open, about 3 minutes (discard any unopened clams). Add crab pieces and heat through. With a pair of tongs, remove crab legs to warmed serving bowls. Place a colander with shrimp in it, into the pot without submerging it completely. When shrimp are just cooked and pink add to serving bowls. Use tongs to fish out the clams, add to serving bowls. Melt the butter in the broth, stirring as it melts.
Remove bay leaf and the jalapeno peppers from pot. Mash the softened jalapeno peppers into a paste by hand or using a food processor, to serve as a garnish for guests who like their Cioppino spicy.
Meanwhile, season halibut and scallops with salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil. Cook the haibut and scallops, without stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes.
Turn and cook another 30 seconds. Fish will be slightly underdone. Cover scallops and sautéed fish with ladles of broth, bring to a simmer, Cut the fish into pieces to divide and transfer scallops and fish to the serving bowls.
Season broth with salt and pepper. Pour broth over fish in bowls and serve with jalapeno mash and charred, grilled bread.