Hand to Mouth

misadventures in eating


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For some of us — cough should be all of us cough — who are addicted to the electric crack that is Bravo, this news that casting for season four of Project Runway has begun should sent your little heart pitter-pattering. I know it’s done it for me, easing, temporarily, the pain of not having access to Bravo and thereby missing YET ANOTHER season of Top Chef. However, if you are evil and enjoy laughing at people who aren’t aware of the power of the internet, you, too, should skedaddle over to the BravoTV repository of casting sessions for season four.

And just to give this a little bit of a food slant?

Mother’s Day Ciopinno

My mother’s love of seafood is rivaled only by my love of hardcore Southern cooking — sadly, she wins because ultimately, mussels are better for you than fried okra. (Sad.) So for Mother’s Day this year I offered to make her a seafood cioppino and let my father do the grocery run — a call I will probably regret until the day I die. Still! The soup turned out wonderfully in the end, and both parents are packing it up for lunch tomorrow. This is a delicious, fancy-looking dish that is actually very easy to put together, and fabulous for impressing people. But seriously, do your shopping on your own.

• 1 lb mussels
• 1/2 lb shrimp, de-veined, with shells split
• 1/2 lb flaky, white fish
• 1 lb littleneck clams (NOT the footballs my father brought home)
• 1 26 oz can crushed tomatoes
• 1 c. dry white wine
• 5 cloves garlic
• 1/2 c. onion, diced
• 1/2 c. green pepper, diced
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 tsp oregano
• salt and pepper to taste
• 5 tbsp olive oil
• 1 c. clam juice
• 3 c. water

VERY IMPORTANT: Clean your seafood well — scrub your mussels and clams thoroughly to rinse away dirt and sand, and be sure that your water runs clear when you do rinse them, you don’t want that stuff in your soup. Keep in mind you only want fresh, live mussels and clams, so discard any with shells already open when preparing the meal.

(1) Combine olive oil, green pepper and onion in deep, tall pot — cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
(2) Add all remaining ingredients except for seafood and bring to a simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
(3) Add, in the following order, to the pot: (1) fish (2) mussels (3) shrimp (4) clams — cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the mussels and clams have all opened.
(4) Serve hot and immediately, with your remaining (chilled) white wine.

(Or, super secret step (5) in my house, where I had to pick out the ginormous clams and halve them before I could serve in our bowls. Classy.)


Written by lshen

May 14, 2007 at 7:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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