Easy Slow Cooker Cioppino Recipe
When I came upon this easy slow cooker Cioppino recipe I was instantly intrigued about its origin. With a name like Cioppino it had to be Italian, but I wanted to learn more. I am not much of a wikipedia user, but they do have this quaint story to tell about the origins of Cioppino. ìCioppino was developed in the late 1800s primarily by Italian immigrants who settled in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, many from the port city of Genoa. When a fisherman came back empty handed, they would walk around with a pot to the other fishermen asking them to chip in whatever they could. What ever ended up in the pot became their Cioppino.î I am not sure how accurate this is, but I like the story for the sense of coming together, the community taking care of its own. The story warmed my heart much like the stew warmed my body.
Cioppino A Seafood Stew
This Cioppino is the perfect seafood stew. Not to be confused with a bouillabaisse, which is traditionally made with a white fish broth, Cioppino is tomato based. Slowly cooking the base in the slow cooker allows all of the flavors of the added vegetables (think onions, celery, garlic, bell peppers) to come together in a rich tasting chunky broth. The best thing about this recipe is its flexibility. From the vegetable that you pick to add to the base to the mix of seafood that you choose, this dish can be made using your own personal favorites. For this preparation I used a mix of cod, crab and shrimp. However, halibut, haddock, scallops, mussels and lobster would all go really nicely in this stew. This dish pairs really well with some nice crusty bread. Use the bread to help soak up all of the broth. Serve with a small garden salad for some extra nutrition.
This meal can be made for a comfy family dinner yet is elegant enough to serve at a banquet. It can be made in advance and then reheated when you are ready to serve. Alternately, you can prepare the base and store in vacuum sealed containers in the freezer for up to six month. When you are ready simply remove from the freezer and defrost. Add your fish and reheat for about 30 minutes or until fish is cooked through and the stew is hot. IT just does not get any easier than that. This method allows you to enjoy a delightful Cioppino at just about any time.