I’m feeling spicy.

And I’m not feeling super talkative.

So, today I shall share my spicy. In a straightforward fashion.

This recipe is sort of a cioppino (Italian fish stew). It is SO sinfully easy, yet very fancy pants.

This is a recipe designed to impress. This recipe is also for two people… a nice romantic dinner. Or a special treat for a dear friend. Or an indulgence for you and only you, with enough left for a delicious lunch the next day.

Here is what you’ll need (you probably have most of this in your pantry):

1 T. olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

1 bay leaf

crushed red pepper flake- I used about 1 teaspoon, and that made for a medium spicy soup. Add more or less based on your heat threshold

White Wine (1 cup or so)- please don’t judge my cheap-o wine featured here

2  14 oz. cans of tomatoes- I used crushed, but diced would work too

Start by heating your oil in a deep skillet (with a tight fitting lid) over medium heat. Add in your finely chopped garlic, and cook for one minute.

Side note: I had previously cooked some garlic and parsley in the same pan for garlic bread hence the green flecks.

Add in your bay leaf and crushed red pepper flake.

Cook for one more minute.

Now add in your wine.

A cup should suffice. But you can add as much as ya want.

Scrape any bits off of the bottom of the pan.

And then add in your tomatoes.

Give it a good stir.

Then, bring it to a boil.

After it boils, reduce your heat to medium/medium-low to simmer.

While that simmers, we shall prepare our seafood buddies for consumption.

Little neck clams (again I only purchase this stuff from either the Fish Market or Whole Foods)-I got 6 clams for 2 people.

That makes for 3 each.

I wasn’t even a Math major.

Impressive, I know.

Give them a rinse.

Make sure all of the clams are closed.

That means they are alive.

And they are good to eat. I actually ask the man at the fish market to make sure he grabs only fully closed clams when I am shopping.

Now, rinse off your mussels.

Have you ever had mussels?

I think they may just be my favoritist, favorite item from the sea.

They are tender and delicious.

Ideally they come in their shell; however, my Whole Foods only had the pre-shucked mussels.

They still taste great, but they are a little less fun to eat.

If they have the shelled version, I would pick up at least 8 for 2 people.

Same rule goes for mussels in their shell… make sure it is fully closed.

Whether shucked or not, give them a rinse.

Now, rinse off your shrimp.

I purchased 8 16/22 shrimp.

The 16/22 means that there are between 16-22 shrimp included to make up one pound of meat.

These guys came with their shell removed and deveined. Perfection. Deveining shrimp grosses me out.

Do not use pre-cooked shrimp.

Thank ya.

By the time you have finished pulling all of your seafood out of the fridge and rinsing it, your sauce has been simmering for 8-10 minutes, and it is ready to receive the fruiti di mare… you know, the fruit of the sea.

Clams go in first.

Place them in the pan.

Cover and cook for exactly 5 minutes.

I actually use a timer for this recipe because the cooking time is THAT important.

When you pull off the lid, some of the clams may have already started to open up.

Now add in your mussels.

It is the same cooking time whether they are shucked or not.

Lookin’ good.

Cover the pot, and cook for exactly 3 1/2 minutes.

Take the lid off, and add your shrimp in.

Oooh, mama.

Cover and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.

Total cooking time is 10 minutes once you start adding seafood.

At this point take a look at your clams and mussels. If they are in the shell, the shells should be fully opened.

If there are any shells that don’t open, toss them out.

They won’t be good to eat.

Your shrimp will be pink and cooked through.

Turn off the heat, and scoop your spicy goodness into bowls to serve immediately.

The ONLY way to ruin this dish is to overcook the seafood.

If you follow the directions above, the seafood should be perfect. Clams, mussels, and shrimp should never taste too chewy or at all rubbery. If they do, you have ignored me and overcooked something.

They should be perfectly tender and delicious.

Serve it up with some roasted vegetables and garlic bread.

Take it over the top with a light sprinkling of parmigiano reggiano.

Now that is an easy weekday meal that is a snap to make, and it is pretty impressive.

Right?

You can do it.

You should try it.

Even if you think seafood (especially shelled seafood) isn’t for you, won’t you please at least give it a try?

It would make my life.

Thanks pals.

Have a great day!!

XO,

Leah

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