The Best Cioppino in the World

Dinner at The Midwest Mermaid’s house generally consists of something that used to call the oceans — or the rivers — home. No, I’m not a pescatarian, I do eat meat … just not a lot of it. I’ve toyed with the idea of becoming a pescatarian but I live in Indianapolis and just can’t resist a St. Elmo steak every now and then.

One of my favorite dishes is Cioppino … or really any rendition of fish stew — especially if it has a little kick to it. Years ago I was in Vegas and at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House … I don’t know if it’s still on the menu, but at the time they were serving a devilishly delightful version that literally knocked my socks off. Truth be known, I remember it so well that I can even tell you what I was wearing that night … a Tiffany-blue cocktail sundress that I happen to still own.

Ever since that fatefully delicious night, I’ve been recreating the dish at home, serving it with crusty bread and wine. I can’t give you a recipe … but I can tell you I use muscles, clams, shrimp, halibut or cod, calamari … red pepper flakes, a chunky tomato puree, lots of garlic, fresh herbs and good fish stock. And my version, pictured above, is a combination of both Emeril’s and Giada De Laurentiis’

So take a look at both and experiment … it’s an easy dish to make … yes, there are lots of ingredients, but once it gets put together there’s nothing to it — and it’s impressive when dished up … even Poseidon likes it 😉

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