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It’s Cold Out, So I Made Cioppino/Portuguese Stew

We've been trying to use up some stuff from our (very well-stocked) freezer lately since we're now in the middle of the country and not at the edges (where there's lots of fresh seafood–our favorite). We tend to stock the freezer before we leave with things like free range flash-frozen chick breasts, crab cakes, a variety of seafood, some grass-fed beef, pork tenderloins…things that we can thaw and cook nicely when there isn't a good local choice for fresh protein.

It's been cold out and I decided I'd make a cioppino…only it ended up as more of a Portugese fish stew since I added some fresh smoked chorizo to it. This soup had scallops we bought fresh (and then froze 'em) in the Florida Keys, crayfish we bought in New Orleans and froze for future use, some frozen langostino tails we picked up at Trader Joe's, and some fresh smoked chorizo that we got today from a local meat market here in Billings called 4th Avenue Meat Market.


It turned out GREAT and I'll give you the recipe here.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • salt and pepper to your taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can organic tomatoes in juice (diced, or squish 'em through your fingers like I do)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 5 cups fish stock (I used 4c veggie stock because I couldn't find fish stock here, plus 1/4 c fish sauce)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound scallops (frozen, cut in half)
  • 1 pound langostino tails (frozen from Trader Joe's)
  • 1 pound crawfish (frozen)
  • 1/2 pound fresh smoked chorizo sausage, sliced

I'm sure whatever kinds of fish/shellfish you feel like adding will all work. I knew I'd never find clams here but I'd normally add clams. (They were 89 cents per clam in the market at Rapid City. There were no clams at all here at the supermarket in Billings.)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and salt and pepper and saute until the shallots are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. 

Add the langostino, crawfish, scallops….cover and cook for 5-10 minutes until frozen things are heated through, then add the sliced smoked chorizo. Simmer gently about 5 minutes longer until everything is heated through and serve with garlic bread.

Gues what we're having for lunch today?