My mother adored Cioppino, the fish stew with its roots in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco dating back to before the earthquake. If you knew my mother, or for that matter, read this blog, you know that cooking was not Mother’s thing. But if it were an easy recipe, one requiring as little time and attention as possible, and one that could reasonably be cooked in as few steps as possible, my Mother would latch onto it with an almost religious fervor. So it was with Cioppino. There is very little opportunity to make a bad Cioppino because it is probably the most flexible fish stew on the planet. And it packs a wonderful punch of flavor in every bite. The Cioppino I am sharing with you today tasted of the sea itself. And then there was the richness of the tomatoes, the anise flavor of the fennel, and the bite-sized pieces of seafood brightened with a dash of fresh lemon juice. Mother was right. It’s hard to beat a great Cioppino.
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