Seafood Cioppino

Seafood Cioppino
1 Large White Onion (Julienne)
1 Bunch Leeks (Sliced)
1 Shallot (Minced)
2 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
1 Cup White Wine
3 Tbl Oil
12 Whole Tomatoes or Can Stewed Tomatoes
Zest from 2 lemons
1 Bay Leaf
¼ Cup chopped fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper
½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Pound Fresh Black Mussels (scrubbed clean and de-bearded)
1 Pound Frozen Calamari (cut into rings)
1 Pound Frozen Shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
1 Pound Fresh White Fish (cut into 4oz pieces)
1 Baguette or crusty white bread
Sliced Green Onions to garnish

In a large stew pot, combine the onion, leek, shallot and garlic with the oil and cook over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper. Stir constantly to avoid any color. Add white wine to deglaze the pot. Allow the wine to reduce by half, and cook off the alcohol content. Add tomatoes (and the juice if you are using canned). Add lemon zest, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring this up to a boil and lower heat so that the liquid maintains a simmer. Add the cut calamari and allow the stew to simmer for at least 2 hours. Stir occasionally and adjust seasoning. This can be made a day in advance if needed and stored in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and season each piece of fish on both sides with salt and black pepper. In a large pot, place the stew, mussels, and shrimp and set over medium heat with a lid tightly covering. While this is warming, place a frying pan over medium high heat and add some oil to cover the bottom. Gently place the fish into the hot oil and allow it to cook until the flesh begins to turn white at least half way up on the sides. Do not move the fish during this process. Once this occurs, using a spatula, carefully flip the fish onto the other side. The flesh should be a nice golden brown. When all the pieces have been flipped, place the entire pan into the preheated oven. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the fish reaches the desired temperature. During this time warm the baguette in the same oven. By the time the fish is done cooking, the stew should be finished warming. Carefully remove the lid and check if the shrimp and mussels are finished cooking. Discard any mussels that do not fully open.

In large soup bowls, arrange the mussels and shrimp around the outside. Ladle the tomato broth and calamari into the bowls, and top each with a piece of fish. Garnish each bowl with some green onions and a slice of baguette. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

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