March 19, 2009 12:49 PM   Subscribe

RecipeFilter: Seafood stew stumper!

A local Italian restaurant serves a fantastic bowl of cioppino, which I would like to try to replicate at home. The problem is that the dish I'm trying to make is not cooked in the traditional tomato and garlic broth, which is all I can find via Google, but a creamy lemon butter version.

I'm fairly handy in the kitchen, and not afraid of improvisation, but I need a starting point. Any tips, ideas, or actual recipes for this apparently rare version of cioppino would be greatly appreciated!
posted by owtytrof to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds more like the broth for mussels mariniere, which is white wine, garlic, onion, parsley, and butter. There are tons of recipes online.
posted by mkultra at 12:53 PM on March 19, 2009

You may be looking for a white cioppino. Here's one dramatic recipe.
posted by Pants! at 1:09 PM on March 19, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas, they both look good, but not quite it. The menu I ordered from specifically said "lemon butter sauce." The mussels mariniere is missing lemon, and the white cioppino has no butter. Also, both look to be thin, (relatively) clear broths. What I had was thick, white, creamy broth.

Maybe one of those recipes could be modified? Any ideas how I would do that? I'm not sure on making it thick and creamy.
posted by owtytrof at 1:20 PM on March 19, 2009

Response by poster: Gah! I think I was wrong about the mussels - it looks like there's cream in some of the recipes I found.

Ok, I'm going to stay away and not thread-moderate for awhile. Thanks again.
posted by owtytrof at 1:26 PM on March 19, 2009

What your describing doesn't sound like actual cioppino even a little bit so using that word in your searches will probably take you farther from your goal. I'd just focus on seafood and shellfish recipes with lemon butter sauce that you can tweak to fit what your looking for. The creamy lemony thing sounds a bit like a beurre blanc to me actually, so that might be a direction to search in as well.

Here's a few recipes I quickly turned up that might help you get started.
posted by mostlymartha at 1:30 PM on March 19, 2009

Sounds like you had Normandy stew which is french.
posted by scarello at 2:08 PM on March 19, 2009

Yeh you could make a beurre blanc, that would work. But that's more 'buttery' than 'creamy'.

Probably your best bet would be:

- make a roux (butter, flour)
- add stock (fish, obviously) that you've scented with lemon zest and/or lemon juice and/or lemongrass until it's thinner than you want. If you're precooking anything like mussels or whatnot, add the leftover cooking liquid to the stock. Could add white wine, too.
- bring to boil briefly, lower to a scant simmer
- add cream
- add all your various fish
- simmer until seafood is just barely cooked through
- serve immediately
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:45 PM on March 19, 2009

My guess: The restaurant called it cioppino, but what you really got was seafood piccata.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:26 PM on March 19, 2009

Picatta isn't particularly creamy, though. Not usually anyway.

Oh, and the ersatz recipe I gave above.. personally I'd probably pre-cook all the seafood separately and toss into the liquid right before service to avoid overcooking. But eh, that would probably be a 'how much room do I have on the stove' decision.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:12 PM on March 19, 2009

I think dirtynumbangelboy has the right idea, except that I wouldn't add the cream until after the fish is cooked, and then heat it until just before it starts to boil. Also, I would probably stir in a little more lemon zest right at the end.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 4:31 PM on March 19, 2009

Yeh, I can't believe I forgot that. I'd probably also garnish it (depending on your liquid-to-solid ratio) with a little drizzle of olive oil.

And lots of crusty bread, natch.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:33 PM on March 19, 2009

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