Cioppino - San Francisco Style Seafood Stew

By Mark Lawrence

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Chowder is a traditional American dish, served on Friday in observance of the Catholic no-meat day, or on the weekend. If you live in Maine, you go down to the shore on Sunday and pick clams. You bring these back home, and feed them corn meal and fresh water every day for a week to fatten them up, then cook them in a milk and potatoe soup for the weekend. This is why traditional clam chowder has corn meal, or sometimes corn in it. Optionally you can put in a bunch of seafood, the more kinds the better. I prefer it as seafood chowder.

This recipe is for the unfortunate among us who don't live on the North Atlantic coast, it calls for canned clams instead of fresh fattened up clams. If you live on the coast of Maine, you already have a recipe from your grandmother.

4 stripsbacon
1 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 lbs potatoes
1 stalk celery
2 12oz cans clams
3 cups water
3 chicken bullion cubes
2 cups milk
1 cup half & half
1/2 sticksweet butter
8 tbl corn starch
3 lbs various fish and shellfish. I like salmon, shrimp, scallops.

  1. Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat. When cooked remove from skillet, chop up.

  2. While bacon is cooking peal and dice potatoes and dice onion and celery.

  3. Cook onion in bacon fat for 5 minutes, stirring a couple times.

  4. Add water, chicken bullion, butter, clams, potatoes, celery, chopped bacon, bay leaves, pepper. Simmer about 10 minutes.

  5. Add fish and shellfish. Cook about 3 minutes.

  6. Add corn starch to cold milk, stir completely.

  7. Add milk, half and half. Simmer about 1 minute while stirring to thicken broth.

Serve with hot sour dough bread. Serves 10.