I have lived in Northern California for over a decade and I have never made cioppino until last week. I have no idea why; maybe it seemed intimidating, even to me! After having it at a friend's house over the holidays and seeing how simple it was, I knew it was time for me to tackle it.
The recipe she used was this one from Giada de Laurentiis which was delicious, of course, but one thing she (my friend, not Giada) complained about was the availability (and cost) of the fish stock. Since I often make seafood risotto with chicken stock, I was curious if I could pull it off for cioppino as well.
After making it last weekend for some friends, the results were unanimous; the chicken stock not only made the broth lighter but it was less salty. I decided to use the juice from the canned clams to add some extra flavor. With the exception of the halibut and the crab (it's high season for Dungeness right now), the other fish was frozen (shrimp and scallops) or from a (more…)