Crockpot Cioppino

Easy Crock-Pot Cioppino

Capt. Kidd’s is the go-to fish monger in Redondo Beach where you can also get great Cioppino. Eating there inspired me to look for an easy recipe to tackle. Seafood may not seem like a great crock pot pairing: extended cooking + seafood = rubber. If the seafood is thrown in during the last half hour though, it is a total win for the cod, shrimp, and calamari in this recipe.

Although the name Cioppino is Italian, it’s origin is suggested to be from San Francisco where local fishermen used crabmeat common to those markets. While researching, I also found similar regional dishes for other countries: their versions of Fisherman’s Stew. I had never heard of Brazilian ‘Moqueca’, but I have since visited a restaurant in Oxnard with that exact name: Moqueca Restaurant. You can dine overlooking their little marina and you will not go away hungry. The HUGE bowl for 2 comes still bubbling to the table. (And there was enough left over to take some home.)

Brazillian Moqueca
Brazillian Moqueca, fisherman’s stew from Moqueca Restaurant in Oxnard. http://www.moquecarestaurant.com

 

Back to my humble Cioppino —

Photos taken on-the-fly means lighting and composition weren’t really considered. Instead I run the images through a Photoshop filter to make up for lameness. I also found out that food only looks good through a few filters.

Stage 1: First, I turned on the crock pot and started throwing in the first 12 items. Open up the clam juice, pour it in. Open the diced tomatoes, throw ’em in. White wine, a little vinegar, olive oil, a bay leaf. The onions, celery and garlic needed to be chopped but the liquids were already starting to warm & blend once I was ready to add the rest.

Crock-pot Cioppino, gluten-free recipe
Pouring clam juice in to crock-pot. Photoshop filter used: Accented Edges.

 

I had forgotten to pick up Italian seasoning so I Googled an Italian seasoning recipe to aim for the general ballpark of flavors.

Crock-pot Cioppino
Making homemade Italian seasoning from whatever was on hand. This photo is posterized.

 

I made exactly the amount I needed and threw it all in.

Crock-pot Cioppino, gluten free recipe.
Making homemade italian seasoning. Photoshop filter used: Paint daubs

 

Below is everything minus seafood, ready for the 4 hours of cookin’ (no work).

Crock-pot Cioppino
I increased the color saturation on this photo. Other filters seemed to mask the subtle differences of the garlic-to-onion details.

 

Truth be told, I was running a bit behind on time so I increased the temperature for part of the cooking time from low, to high. I made sure to turn down the heat well before the end so the liquid wouldn’t end up overcooking the seafood.

Part 2: About half an hour before I deemed this dish to be complete, I started adding the seafood. A can of clams, but I skipped the can of crab meat. The seafood guy recommended against it because crab has such a delicate flavor. I just might put it in anyway another go-round because the texture would be good. I cut up the cod (which was subbing for Haddock) and proceeded to add it, shelled shrimp, and the calamari tubes and tentacles.

Cioppino recipe, gluten-free
Cod, shrimp and calamari. Photoshop filter used is Accented Edges.

 

I recently read that cooking shrimp with shells on can really add to the flavor of the soup. It can also make a lot of work for whomever is trying to eat it. My main goal was to make as little work as possible, so I bought already shelled shrimp with the tails still intact.

Cioppino recipe, gluten free
Adding the shrimp, leaving tails on. Photoshop filter used is Posterize.

 

The finale! There is no rice or anything starchy in this recipe although my photo kind of looks that way. It’s all veg, seafood, spices and liquid. But I did find some excellent gluten-free garlic toasts at Whole Foods. They work great for french onion soup too.

Thank you to:   http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/seafood-cioppino
See recipe at the bottom of the post.

Crockpot Cioppino
Crockpot Cioppino with shrimp, cod, calamari and clams. This Photoshop filter is Accented Edges.

Seafood Cioppino Recipe

Directions

  1. In a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 12 ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours.
  2. Stir in seafood. Cook, covered, 20-30 minutes longer or until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork and shrimp turn pink.
  3. Remove bay leaf. Stir in parsley. Yield: 8 servings (2-1/2 quarts).

Ingredients

  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine or 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound haddock fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces (I subbed cod)
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp (41-50 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1 can (6 ounces) chopped clams, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) lump crabmeat, drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Night Photography Meetup

Night Photography & Steel Wool

A couple years ago after moving to California I signed up for a Night Photography Meetup. Held at an isolated beach just off the Pacific Coast Highway around central Malibu, the beach itself is not visible from the road. It is quite narrow and backed by cliffs of rock. This picturesque area is frequented by photographers due to nature’s backdrops of rock, water and sand, and an inability for crowds to gather.

I had never heard of the photo approach we used that evening. I may still be missing some details but the gist of it was: tie steel wool to a rope, light it and then swing it around while people take photos. It was a total blast to see the resulting images. Thank you to Rusty Nelson for helping me with my camera settings. http://www.rustynelson.com/

Photo credits: Jodyt2.com

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Photography Meetup
Steel Wool photography

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Gluten Free)

chocolatezucchinicake800pxTrying to do gluten free and still want a treat? This recipe always turns out great. Surprisingly light & fluffy, there is no flour of any kind here. Decorate the top with mini chocolate chips and/or nuts to give it that extra “you” feature. There is a non-chocolate variation (check the original website below) using plain almond butter. I tried that once. It was more like bread and certainly has it’s uses, but I’d rather just make this 🙂 ^

Photo Credit: Jodyt2. Bread in the photo is made in 3 x 6″ tins.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend or if Paleo, use almond butter sweetened with 1 tbsp of maple syrup and 1-2 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (squeeze excess water out of the shredded zucchini)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp grade B maple syrup ( I used grade a, but dark maple syrup)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • if using chopped pecans or walnuts – just throw ’em in the batter

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the chocolate hazelnut butter, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt and blend with a hand held mixer for 2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Add baking soda and vinegar (will fizz up) and blend for 30 more seconds.
  4. Stir in shredded zucchini. Squeeze out excess water. (No need to go crazy, just get most of it out.)
  5. Place in a lined or greased loaf pan. You can use one 5×9″ pan or 2 mini loaf pans.
  6. Top with 1-2 tbsp of mini chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for 23-28 minutes if you have mini loaf pans and 35-50 minutes for large loaf pan. Start testing with a toothpick at 35 minutes and when it comes out clean when inserted in the center, it is done.
  8. Allow to cool on a cooling rack and serve.

Original recipe found at: http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/organic-chocolate-zucchini-bread-recipe/