Cioppino Recipe

Cioppino is a rich, red, seafood-based soup that was developed in the early 1800s by Portuguese and Italian fishermen that settled along the Northern California coast around San Francisco.  It was first prepared on their fishing vessels from leftover pieces of fish, clams, mussels, and dungeness crabs.  Cioppino, which has many similarities to other mediterranean fish dishes such as bouillabaise, grew in popularity in the Bay Area and has been on the menus of many of San Francisco's restaurants ever since.  It is a great winter-time dish and is best served with toasted sour dough bread and a Oregon Pinot Noir.  If sour dough bread is unavailable, you can make yourself a loaf of Easy Artisan Bread which will work just as well.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 - 4 flat anchovie fillets
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup California Chardonnay
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
32 oz. crushed red tomatoes
1 cup clam juice
1 tbsp thyme
1 tspn oregano
1 tspn basil
1 hand full of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds cod or other white fish, cut into 2 inch chunks
8 large shrimp
16 mussels or clams
1 can of lump crab meat or fresh crabs (if you can get them) - Dungeness crabs are the best with this but they are usually only available on the US west coast.  Blue crabs would also work with this recipe for cioppino.

+ sour dough bread or Easy Artisan Bread.

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, anchovies, garlic, and the bay leaf.
  2. As  the anchovies begin to disintegrate, add the diced yellow onion and cook the onion for a few minutes until it becomes translucent in color.
  3. Add 1 cup of chardonnay and continue to cook for a few minutes to allow the wine to reduce.
  4. Add the chicken stock, crushed red tomatoes, clam juice, thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Let the soup simmer for an hour.
  5. Season the white fish on both sides with salt and pepper.  Set aside while the soup simmers.
  6. After an hour has passed, add the shrimp, mussels or clams, crab meat, and pieces of white fish to the cioppino.  Do not stir the mixture so that the pieces of white fish do not break apart.  Let the cioppino simmer for another hour to allow all of the flavors to meld.
  7. Serve cioppino hot with slices of toasted bread and red wine (Oregon Pinot Noir or this Pinot Noir one from Chile if you can find it).
USA Flag United States  [ print this recipe for Cioppino ]

Book Review: The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook

Ever been to Chicago in January?  If the answer is yes, then you realize why comfort food is so popular in this city.  It's also easy to understand why restaurants such as the Meatloaf Bakery have become Second City favorites!  This Lincoln Park establishment was founded by Cynthia Kallile in December of 2008.  After a successful 25 year career as a corporate PR exec, Kallile decided to venture into the restaurant business.  Building on the early success of her imaginative meatloaf creations, she and her team at the Meatloaf Bakery have grown the business to also include a food truck, the Meatloaf A-Go-Go and also a catering business.  She recently released The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook - Comfort Food with a Twist and the International Recipe Syndicate had the opportunity to try some of her recipes.

The book begins with a chapter on "making the loaf" where the author recommends the classic meat mix of 80% to 85% lean ground beef complemented by ground pork and/or ground veal.  She also recommends using filler of bread crumbs, crushed butter crackers, or even oyster crackers.  These, along with the key ingredients of parsley, basil, thyme, lemon, and garlic make a solid base that can be used to build a myriad of meatloaf creations.  If you are a vegetarian, don't dismay.  The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook also includes chapters on meatless loaves and "lite bites" that feature vegetarian specialties, salads, side dishes, and appetizers.

For our review, we chose the Father Loaf, one of the Meatloaf Bakery's classic dishes.  We also tried the Cheesy Taters as they were needed for the garnish of the Father Loaf.  We found the cheesy taters to be smooth and packed with cheddar cheese flavor - a welcome change from plain mashed potatoes.  This dish could stand on its own as a side for any meal.  But when you combine it with the Father Loaf, you have one of the best comfort food combinations around!  The father Loaf itself is HUGE covering a good portion of an entire baking pan.  We thought we would be eating leftovers for a week but when all was said and done it was gone in a single day.  This version of the classic meatloaf had an unbeatable combination of flavors complemented perfectly by a barbecue glaze.  We only tried one meatloaf recipe from the Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook but there were many other recipes that tempted us.  I'm sure we will be trying many other recipes for meatloaves and sauces in the near future.  We give the Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook 4 out of 5 stars.

Acarajé Recipe

The first time that I tried acarajé was at the airport in Salvador, Bahia (located on Brazil's central coast region). 3 ladies wearing traditional Bahian attire (see below) were sitting just outside of the terminal in a make-shift kitchen consisting of a couple of large metal pots, a butane burner and a few coolers. They recommended their acarajé, a specialty of the region. These deep-fried cakes consisting of mashed beans, shrimp, and spices were so good that I found myself ordering them throughout my stay in Salvador. This is a simple recipe. You can form acarajé as cakes or balls depending on your preferred serving size.

bahia - acaraje vendor

Recommended Equipment:
food processor or blender

1 15oz. can navy beans, drained
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 Serrano pepper, diced
1 cup of fresh shrimp, chopped
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 tspn black pepper
3 tbsp manioc or tapioca flour
oil for frying

dipping sauce:
3 tbsp olive oil
3 shrimp. finely diced
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
2 to 3 dried hot peppers
3 tbsp dendê oil (palm oil)
1/4 tspn salt

  1. Place the beans, onion, Serrano pepper and shrimp into a food processor and pulse to form a smooth paste.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and flour and mix the ingredients until they are well combined.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil for deep frying.
  4. While the oil heats up, form the acarajé using your hands. You can form them as balls or paddies - it's up to you. You can even garnish them with small dried shrimp pressed into the pattie if you prefer.
  5. Serve hot with dipping sauce.
dipping sauce:
  1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the shrimp, onions, and hot peppers.
  3. When the onions become clear and translucent, add the dendê oil and salt to the skillet and reduce the heat to simmer.
  4. Serve when all of the acarajé are ready.
Brazilian flag Brasil [ print this recipe ]

The Homer Simpson: Pink-Sprinkle Mini Donut Recipe

Homer Simpson Pink-Sprinkle Donuts
"'Dear Homer, IOU one emergency donut. Signed, Homer.' Bastard! He's always one step ahead." - Homer Simpson. Homer has always known the importance of a good donut, and now that you're making a mini version of his favorite, there'll be plenty to go around!

Recommended Equipment:
Donut pan(s) or electric donut maker

For Donuts
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tspn vanilla extract

For Icing
1 tbsp whole milk
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 drops red food coloring

For Topping
2 ounces multicolored sprinkles

  1. If using an electric donut maker, preheat according to manufacturer's instructions.  If using donut pans, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease donut pans.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and sugar.  Then add milk, oil, and vanilla extract, mixing until thoroughly combined.  Gently stir in the flour mixture, stirring until there are no lumps.If using mini-donut pans:  Carefully fill each donut indentation 3/4 full.  Bake for 7-9 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean.  Transfer donuts to a cooling rack and cool completely.  If using an electric mini-donut maker:  Carefully fill each donut indentation 3/4 full.  Bake according to manufacturer's instructions or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean.  Remove donuts from appliance, transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool completely.
  4. Place wax paper under a wire rack to collect any drippings for an easy cleanup.  Then, in a small bowl, whisk together milk and vanilla extract.  Add powdered sugar, whisking until smooth.  Add red food coloring    1 drop at a time, until you reach the desired pink color.
  5. Dip the top of each donut into the icing and transfer to a wire rack.  Immediately garnish the tops with the multicolored sprinkles and let set for 5 minutes.  Donuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days but are best served fresh.
Recipe courtesy of Mini Donuts by Jessica Segarra
USA Flag United States  [ print this recipe for The Homer Simpson: Pink-Sprinkle Mini Donut ]
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...