Fabulous Cioppino, my way!

I love fish especially in a wonderful fish stew! Cioppino, Bouillabaisse, Portuguese fisherman stew, I love them all. Today I made an absolutely delicious Cioppino. What I love about fish stews is you can use a variety of fish depending what is fresh.  Living in the Boston area all our grocery stores have fantastic fish markets making getting fresh fish easy. Give this easy dish a try. I know that you'll be surprised at just how quick and easy you can make this fabulous meal. Serve with fresh baked crusty bread and a farm fresh salad, don't forget the wine!

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grown pepper
1 28-oz can ground tomatoes,  (I use kitchen ready Pastene)
1 1/2 cup dry white wine
1 8-oz bottle clam juice
1 lb. cod fillets or other white fish
1 lb. mussels, scrubed, debearded
1 lb. large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb. sea scallops or cleaned squid, thawed if frozen, cut into 1/2 in rings, leave tentacles whole

Heat olive in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots, fennel, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Stir in fennel seeds, ground tomatoes, wine, clam juice. Cover bring to a boil, reduce to low heat, simmer, stirring often for about 15 minutes. Stir in fish, mussels, and shrimp simmer for about 2 minutes. Add scallops or squid cover and cook until mussels open about 5 minutes.  Serves 6-8



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