Puttanesca Cioppino

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I have loved cioppino from the the first moment that I had it at Little Joe’s in San Francisco.  Bouillabaisse and chowders don’t endear me as much as the bold flavors of the Italian tomato-garlic fish stew.  For years I’ve used Marian Cunningham’s recipe from The Supper Book, which is quich and simple, if not a paler shade of the real thing.  When I made it recently – held hostage by my wallet and the slim selection at the local fish store – it was a downright disappointment.  Tilapia killed my cioppino.  Bland and flavorless, there was barely any fish flavor, tilapia being the seafood equivalent to styrofoam peanuts.  I had two bites and commenced with a flavor injection.  More garlic sauteed with crushed red pepper.  For more fish flavor, I added anchioves, and for the hell of it, capers, for a puttanesca touch.  In the end, I had a whole new dish – puttanesca cioppino, a vast improvement.

Puttanesca Cioppino

-heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium in a large frying pan

-add 6 minced garlic cloves and 1/4t crushed red pepper for 1 minute until golden, do not brown

-add 1/2 cup white fish filet, 1 cup wine, 2-15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, 1t oregano, 1t sugar, and 2 bay leaves, simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes

-add 1 1/2 cups fish, 1/2 tin minced anchioves, and 1T capers, cook another 5 minutes covered until fish is cooked through

-serve with 1 cup chopped parsley


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