CIOPPINO (Italian Fish Stew)
1 tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 green pepper cut into 1/2 inch squares
1 clove garlic, minced or more to taste ( I love garlic)
1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes cut up
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 c. dry white or red wine
3 tbsp. snipped parsley
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
Dash of pepper
1 lb. fresh or frozen fish fillets, cut in 1 inch pieces
12 oz. raw shrimp shelled
1 (7 1/2 oz.) can minced clams or fresh 24 clams in shell (see below for notes on fresh clams)
1/2 lb. scallops, lobster, crab, calamari or all of them
2 pounds little neck clams, mussels, or oysters or all three (Steam mollusks (clams, mussels, oysters) in a small amount of water (about a cup) until they just open. Set aside. Strain and reserve the cooking broth in the place of chicken broth if you don't have the chicken broth.
In a 3 quart saucepan, cook green pepper, and garlic in hot oil until tender and brown. Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, parsley, broth, salt, oregano, basil and pepper. Heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add all preferred selected fish, shell fish, calamari, shrimp ( lobster or crab) and undrained clams. Bring just to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and 5 to 7 minutes or until fish are done,( when using fresh clams, either steam first or cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes, clams till open. Serve immediately.
Note and Tips on Fresh Clams: scrub clam and soak in cold water for 15 minutes to make sure they are clean before cooking. You can also steam first to make sure they are fresh and all of them open. If they are open when you purchase them throw them away, they must be closed...