Crab Cioppino

Tim Dineen

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 750ml bottle Red wine
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a 28-to 32-ounce can whole tomatoes including juice, pureed coarse
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 lb fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 live Dungeness crabs
  • 12 small hard-shelled clams
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp
  • 1/2 pound sea scallops
  • 1 pound scrod or other white fish fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

In a heavy kettle cook garlic in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened. Add pepper flakes and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened. Add vinegar and boil until evaporated. Add wine, oregano, and bay leaf and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in tomato puree and tomato paste, fish stock or water and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes.

Add crabs and clams and simmer, covered, 15 to 20 minutes, transferring clams as they open to a bowl (discard unopened ones).

Transfer crabs to a cutting board and remove top shells, adding any crab liquid to soup. Halve or quarter crabs (depending on size) and reserve, with any additional liquid, in a bowl.

Add shrimp, scallops, and fish to soup and simmer, covered, 5 minutes, or until seafood is just cooked through. Stir in crabs, their liquid, and clams and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve with warm, crusty sourdough french bread.


30 Minute Paella

9-12-paella

Hot out of the oven paella!  It doesn't get much better than this - unless it was hot out of the oven chocolate gooey something.  But since that's not really a huge part of the diet regime right now, I'll go with the paella!

And I'm rather glad we did.  It was really good!

I really did try to make just enough for the two of us, but ended up with dinner for two - plus lunch.  I even had to get a larger pan.  But... we didn't eat it all, so that's a good thing!

30 Minute Paella

  • 1 boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 2 links chorizo, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

Heat oven to 400°F. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a casserole or paella pan over high heat. Add onion, pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add chicken and chorizo and cook until browned.

Add rice smoked paprika, saffron, and cayenne. Stir well to coat rice. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add frozen peas, and tomatoes.  Bring back to a boil.

Transfer pan to oven and cook uncovered until rice is tender and no liquid remains, about 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork and enjoy!

It really was simple - and the smoked paprika really makes the difference!  I received a small shipment of goodies from Atlantic Spice on Friday - cocoa powder and coconut to get ready for the holidays, garlic powder (because I use it in everything) and smoked paprika, because I was out - and only having Hungarian and Spanish paprikas without having a smoked Spanish variety as well is... well...  it's just sad.  Besides, a full pound of smoked paprika is only $8.20.  It's a deal.

Splitting this into three portions, a quick nutritional analysis brings it to under 600 calories per portion - definitely not bad for us.

I'm starting to like this cooler weather.


Beef Pot Pie

We had pie crusts at work yesterday for the first time in forever, so I had to pick up a couple of packages.  I know I constantly and continually rant and rave about scratch cooking and processed foods, but every now and again I have to eat my words, so to speak.  Good-quality pie crusts are a great thing to have in the freezer.

The filling was pretty much a basic beef stew simmered for several hours and then ladled into a crust-lined plate, topped with another crust, and brushed with an egg.

It went into a 400° oven for about 30 minutes and dinner was served!

2-22-pot-pie-2

There's enough left for at least another meal.

Life is good.