Italian Cooking: Lobster Cioppino


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Sean and I haven’t cooked together for awhile, but we’re looking forward to trying out and sharing more new recipes when we move into our new place soon!

Meanwhile, I really want to share one of our favourite fuss-free dishes to put together — this hearty, comforting seafood cioppino. The cioppino is an Italian-American dish said to have originated in San Francisco. It’s essentially a tomato-based seafood stew cooked with wine. And it really is some of the easiest things to put together and is absolutely perfect for cold and rainy weather.

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)
– 1-2 Live Lobsters
– Mussels
– Clams
– 8-7 bulbs of garlic
– 2 onions
– 1 litre Seafood/Chicken Stock
– 300ml Lobster Essence or Boiled Prawn Stock
– 4 tbsp Olive Oil
– 2 tbsp Butter

First of all, you want to start by browning the garlic and onions in a mixture of butter and olive oil. You don’t really need a lot of it, just enough to give it flavour.

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At the same time, you can start to boil your live lobster! Just a few minutes will suffice. You don’t want to over cook it.

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After the garlic and onions are slightly golden brown, you can pour in some prawn head stock or in our case, some lobster soup base that has all the rich, semi-bitter goodness of crustacean shells.

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Then, just slowly stir in one small can of tomato paste with some seafood or chicken stock. Keep mixing so everything is well-combined.

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In order not to overcook the lobster, you should still find the roe (usually bright orange in colour) still black. That’s totally normal, so don’t worry. You actually only want to fully cook the lobster in the broth right at the end, so you don’t end up with dehydrated lobster meat.

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Once the broth is ready, in go the mussels and clams!

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And once it’s all brought to a steady simmer, it’s time for a splash of the best part – some delicious white wine. We really like using a chardonnay.

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Boil for 10-15 minutes or until it’s reduced and thickened slightly, before placing the lobsters in and cooking for another 5 minutes with the lid on.

And before you know it, it’s ready. Just look at that gorgeous colour! The cioppino goes beautifully with some toasted bread. Baguettes are fantastic for dipping. And there you go! All in a pot hearty seafood with some soul-warming comforting broth.

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Do give this recipe a try, or let us know how you do yours! Would always love to find new ways to improve on the dish. Meanwhile, have a lovely weekend ahead.

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