Friday, August 08, 2008

Cioppino (Page 348)


  • Date: Sunday, July 27, 2008 -- 5pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Mitch, Carrie, Juice, Russ, Grant, Paps, Scarecrow, and Alex P
  • Recipe Rating: A-

This recipe makes a big pot of seafood stew, so I wanted to make it for an occasion with lots of guests. The bachelor party seemed perfect, so I made this Cioppino a couple weeks ago when the guys came over for dinner. I started by making the tomatoey soup base, which was flavorful and slightly spicy. It wasn't obvious to me that a soup base of tomato, red wine, and clam juice would be delicious, but indeed it was. I made the base a day ahead, refrigerated it, and reheated before finishing the soup. At the last minute, the various seafood components (clams, shrimp, scallops, king crab leg, and fish) were added and cooked until just cooked through. The fish called for here was halibut. There was no halibut to be found though, but the recipe said you could substitute whatever looked fresh. I substituted cod, which was a bit dumb because it's so flaky that it disintegrated in the soup, but it still tasted good! The best part of making this recipe, by far, was cutting up the crab legs. The recipe directs you to "hack" them into pieces, and hack I did. I was swinging that knife in a way that was making my special gentleman seriously nervous. His job was to catch the crab leg fragments as they flew off the cutting board. It was fun! The stew came out very tasty too! As loyal readers likely have gathered by now, I like seafood but I am not as excited about it as I could be. However, even I thought this stew was very tasty. The spicy tomato base complemented the seafood beautifully. And the variety of seafood really worked well together. It was flavorful, fresh, and perfect for a mid-summer dinner. Everyone seemed quite pleased with it!

Here is the recipe.

In any relationship, over time people naturally fall into various roles. In my relationship with my special gentleman, I am typically the responsible one. He has various minor crises (especially while traveling) and I often find myself using the magic of the internet and my cellular telephone to bail him out. Yesterday, though, the tables were turned...

Let me set the stage: we drove two 12 hour days on Monday and Tuesday, while also loading and unloading the moving truck, and sleeping about 5 hours a night. So by Wednesday I was exhausted. We had one day in Bloomington on Wednesday, during which time I frantically scurried about getting stuff done. Yesterday I woke up at 8am to pack before leaving for the airport to fly back to Boston. Packing was a challenge because this trip involves many stops before I return home. So there I was, packing, when I thought to myself, "Do I need my passport? (pause) Nope. I am flying to Boston for Vero's wedding, then to California, then to Northern Michigan for Brad and Deniz's wedding. No need for a passport."

It wasn't until hours later, standing just outside security at the Indianapolis airport, saying goodbye to my special gentleman and running through a mental checklist of everything I needed to have with me that it occurred to me that although I am indeed flying to Boston for Vero's wedding, I am then driving to Montreal, where the wedding is taking place. Montreal, as it turns out, is in CANADA. And as of recently you need a passport to get in and out of Canada. So there I was, standing in the airport with 10 minutes left before my flight boarded, frantically trying to figure out what to do. My special gentleman wasn't flying with me, but he couldn't make the hour drive back to Bloomington because he had 7 hours of driving ahead of him and was already cutting it very close in order to catch the last ferry to the island where he is attending a wedding this weekend. But my special gentleman told me, "Just get on the plane. I'll take care of it." I was skeptical. He's supposed to get himself in messes like this and I am supposed to take care of it -- not the other way around!

So what happened? Well it turns out that a birth certificate would work because we were driving (you need a passport to fly, but apparently not to drive) but of course my parents, who split time between two states, were both in the state without my birth certificate. In a moment of tremendous foresight though, before I left for the summer I gave Paul, one of my friends and colleagues, a key to my apartment in case of emergency. At the time, he asked me, "What sort of emergency?" And I had no idea. But here it was. We had no idea if Paul was even in town, but Matt was eventually able to reach him and like the wonderful, generous person that he is, he immediately went to my apartment, found my passport, and FedExed it to me in Boston. By the time my flight landed there was a message from Paul on my phone telling me that it was in the mail. And now I have it.

Last night I went to bed at 10pm. Now, after a long, good night of sleep, I feel more like myself again. I still can't believe I did that though! What would I have done without Matty and Paul?!?


Kitchen Vixen said...

Oh goodness, this is so something I would have done!! I'm a very organized person, it's the first word I used to describe my job responsibilities, but I would absolutely end up at the airport without a passport! I love reading through the fantastic gourmet recipes you're making, thanks!

Anonymous said...

How about we turn this comment section into menu suggestions for the "thanks you" meal Teena should prepare for me? Just kidding. I'm glad the passport got there on time. It was kind of cool, biking the wrong way up one way streets in a hurry to get to Teena's apartment and then on to the FEDEX office. I felt like one of those macho big-city bike couriers.....


Deniz said...

LOL!! This sounds exactly like the relationship Brand & I have. I am always waiting for the day when the tables will turn on me. It's definitely going to happen.

Teena said...

Kitchen vixen: Yeah, it was not my finest moment! But I guess these things happen sometimes...

Paul: Thanks again! I don't know what I would have done without your help!!! I'll make you a "thank you" meal anytime!

Deniz: You are a lot more organized than me, so maybe you will manage to avoid a disaster like this one! But I'm sure if you did something similar Brad would come to your rescue!