Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cacciucco

Recently I was at Barnes and Noble checking out food magazines, and I came across a recipe for Cacciucco (pronounced Ca - chew - co) in Wine Spectator magazine.  I had never seen it before, so I had a lot of researching to do about it.  It's another seafood stew similar to bouillabaisse or cioppino, originating in the Tuscan port of Livorno.  Cacciucco derives from the Turkish kucuk, which means tiny.  That's why the seafood used is of the smaller variety.  It is also customary to use 5 different types, one for every "c" in the name Cacciucco.  There are several different ways to do this recipe as well as any other recipe, of course.  I tried to stick with the basics.  My recipe is just a slight variation of Saveur's.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. minced parsley
½ tsp. red chile flakes
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 container of grape tomatoes, each cut in half
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup fish stock

1 lb. calamari, cleaned, bodies cut in half
1 lb. Pacific cod, cut into 2″ pieces
1 lb. shrimp or crawfish
1 lb. clams

1lb. bay scallops

Directions:

   1. Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add parsley, chile flakes, and 4 cloves garlic, minced, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add tomato paste, stir well, and cook until paste has darkened slightly, about 1 minute. Add wine, and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally,  about 10 minutes. Stir in stock, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cod, continue to cook, covered, until just firm, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp or crawfish to the pot and scatter the clams over the top. Cook, covered, without stirring (so as not to break up the seafood), until the cod is just cooked through and the clams have just opened, about 10 minutes.  



3.  Mix the scallops and calamari  in  until they're opaque, then serve.

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