Your Recipe for Combi-steam Cooking
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The traditional method of making Cioppino is fairly straightforward. First, you create a flavorful broth then add the seafood and simmer for a few minutes before serving, but key to good flavor is a good fish or seafood stock, something the Italian fishermen who created this recipe had. In this version we begin by making the seafood stock then cooking the soup base, but we cook some of the seafood in the Convection or Convection Steam Oven. Why? Well when we broil or roast the fish in the oven the results are more flavorful and it’s easier to handle.
A good seafood stock will of course give the best result, and it does take a hour or more to cook but it can be made in advance. Purchase shrimp in the shell and use the shells for the stock. Adding in some lobster tail shells and the smaller pieces of the crab claws will yield a very good stock, and you can use the shrimp, crab and lobster in the soup.
6 - cups assorted shellfish shells, shrimp, lobster and crab
1 - medium yellow onion, chopped
1 - carrot, chopped into large rounds
1 - celery stalk, chopped into 2” pieces
½ - cup dry white wine
2 - Tbsps tomato paste
2 - sprigs each thyme & Italian parsley
1 - bay leaf
10 - whole peppercorns.
3 - tablespoons olive oil
1 - medium yellow onion, diced
2 - shallots, diced
1 - fennel bulb, fronds & core removed, thinly sliced
4 - cloves garlic, minced
½ - teaspoon dried red chile flakes
4 - tablespoons tomato paste
1 - 28oz can whole tomatoes
1 - cup white wine
5 - cups shellfish stock
1 - bay leaf
2 - lobster tails, shell removed, flesh cut into 1” chunks (use the shell for the stock)
1- lb shell on uncooked large shrimp (use the shell for the stock)
½ - lb small crab claws and shell (for the stock)
½ -lb large crab claws for the soup
½ -lb manilla clams
1 ½ - lbs firm fleshed fish, such as halibut or rock cod, cut into 2” chunks
½ - teaspoon mixed Italian seasoning
1 - lemon zest only
Place the shells in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the shells by 1”.
Heat the water over moderate heat and keep it cooking at a very gentle heat just barely simmering for at least an hour. You should only see some bubbles come to the surface.
Avoid stirring the ingredients to keep the stock clear during this time but keep skimming and discarding the foam that rises to the surface. Cooking the shells slowly this way without stirring will yield a flavorful stock.
Once the stock is no longer releasing foam, add the wine, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, herbs and peppercorns. Continue simmering but do not boil for another 30 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer and discard all the shells, season the stock with salt to taste and you are ready to make Cioppino.
Heat a large pan over medium heat, add the oil and saute the onion for a few minutes. Stir in the shallots and fennel and cook over moderate heat for about 10 minutes to soften the fennel. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 2 minutes before adding in the tomato paste, tomatoes, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Simmer for 30 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes as they soften.
Heat the oven in the Convection Roast or Convection Steam Mode 375 degrees.
Place the cubed fish, lobster tails and shrimp in a stainless mixing bowl, drizzle with some olive oil and season with the Italian seasoning, lemon zest kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread onto a rimmed baking pan and cook for 6 - 8 minutes. Add the clams and crab claws to the soup and simmer gently, when the fish and shellfish are ready gently stir into the soup together with the pan juices.
This recipe serves 6 and don’t forget the perfect accompaniment to Cioppino is sourdough garlic bread.
Watch Related Video
Combi Steam Whole Fish
When steaming whole fish in the Combi-Steam oven, select the solid pan or use an oven-safe casserole dish. Then add the aromatics you wish to use to flavor the fish together with just enough water to cover the base of the pan and maybe even a splash of wine if appropriate. The cooking time will be a little longer than when fish is steamed over boiling water, but the succulent results are well worth the extra 8 - 10 minutes of cooking time.
Cooking the Fish
2 whole tilapia or striped sea bass, scales and fins removed
1” piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced into 2” long diagonal strips
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
Serving the Fish
1 small red Jalapeno chili pepper, cut into very thin circles
2 scallions, thinly sliced into 2” long diagonal strip
4 tbsp sesame oil, heated
Heat the oven in the Steam mode, 100% Humidity, 212 Degrees
Pour about ¼ - ½ a cup of water into the solid Combi-Steam oven Pan.
Cut a few diagonal slits in the fish and place the fish in the prepared pan.
Place the lemon and ginger slices in the slits and put any remaining slices in the belly together with the scallions.
Pour the soy sauce over the fish then drizzle the sesame oil over the fish. Place in the oven and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until the fish flakes easily from the bone.
Place the fish on a platter and sprinkle the reserved scallions and chili pepper over the fish.
Heat the sesame oil until sizzling then pour it over the fish.