optional: soft herbs (tarragon
chopped tarragon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 each large yellow onion
small dice
3 each shallots
small dice
4 each celery stalks
small dice
2 each carrots
small dice
1 each fennel bulb
small dice
1 each red bell pepper
small dice
2 each leeks
white parts only (green tops go in the stock), small dice
6 each garlic cloves
sliced thin
2 each jalapenos
roasted in a 450F oven until soft and blistered. Skin, seed, and finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1 smoked paprika
1 tsp espelette pepper
fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme
picked and chopped
2 tsp fresh oregano
picked and chopped
1 pureed roasted tomatoes
dry white wine
1/2 bottle
Seafood/fish stock
chili flakes
olive oil
1/4 cup
mire poix (2 cups of chopped celery
carrots and onion)
1 tsp whole coriander
5 each bay leaves
12 each black peppercorns
2 each whole dried chilies
white wine
1/4 cup
white fish bones (washed really well)
lobster paste (concentrated seafood stock)
1/4 cup
1 cup seafood stock
1 splash white wine
3 each thyme sprigs
1 each shallot
1 tbsp butter
2 PEI black mussels
scrub thoroughly. Purge under cool running water for at least 30 minutes.
2 lbs white shrimp
peel, de-vein, and rinse bodies. Save heads & shells for stock.
2 lbs halibut or another clean meaty white fish like snapper or tilapia
trim into 1.5” thick strips. Remove any bones or skin.
Salt to taste
Lemon juice
2 each baguettes
split, toasted, buttered and rubbed with garlic
  • Rondeau
  • Stock pots
For the Cioppino
In a large stainless steel pot, heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium-low flame. Add all the chopped vegetables, garlic, and jalapeno, and a generous amount of salt. Gently sauté until softened (without browning), about 8 minutes.
Then add lemon zest, smoked paprika, espelette, black pepper, thyme, and oregano. Stir.
Add tomatoes and turn up flame to medium-high. Stir often for a few minutes, or until some of the liquid has evaporated. Adjust heat so the mixture is simmering.
Add wine and continue to simmer for 4 minutes.
Add about 2Q of seafood stock, or enough to make the consistency soupy. Turn up heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Adjust herbs and spices to taste, but leave under-salted at this point.
Add chili flakes if you want it spicier.
Let simmer as long as possible until ready for the final steps.
For the Stock
Using a medium-sized stock pot, heat olive oil over a medium-high flame. Sauté the mire poix until soft. Add coriander, bay, peppercorns, chilies, and any vegetable scraps (especially leek tops & parsley stems) Add white wine and reduce.
Add water to cover by about 3 inches and bring to a simmer – add ¼ cup of seafood paste and fish bones
* Skim frequently.
After 30 minutes, turn off heat & add any soft herbs. Let settle for 5-10 minutes, then using a ladle or small sauce pot, gently scoop out the stock and strain through a cheesecloth-lined mesh sieve.
* Don’t tip over the pot and just dump out the stock or you’ll get sediment in your final product.
For the Mussels
Using a wide rondeau with a tight fitting lid, bring above ingredients to a boil.
Add mussels and reduce flame to medium, cover with lid. Check after 2 minutes and stir. Replace cover and continue to steam. Keep checking and stirring every minute or so until popped open, about 4 or 5 minutes total.
Keep covered off heat until ready to plate, but don’t let overcook. Don’t serve any that remain tightly shut.
While the mussels are steaming, season halibut and fold into the simmering cioppino, stirring gently to keep pieces intact. Season and fold in shrimp after a couple minutes, or when the halibut has turned opaque, but is still raw. Use your best judgment to finish cooking them at the same time.
Finish the cioppino with lemon juice to taste. Adjust seasoning one last time. Add chopped tarragon, chives, chervil, and/or basil as desired.
Consistency should be like a thin stew - not watery, not too thick. It should be a little spicy. Make sure the shrimp & halibut are just about cooked through when serving.
To Serve
Place cooked mussels in bowls; ladle hot Cioppino over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley. Drizzle with olive oil.
Serve immediately with split, toasted, buttered baguette rubbed with garlic.