The tomato-based seafood stew cioppino may sound like it originated in Italy, but it first became popular thanks to Italian-American immigrants in San Francisco. Here, chef Ryan Scott shares his version of the regional specialty in his San Francisco Dungeness Crab Cioppino.
Scott serves his cioppino with Gilroy Garlicky Almost Burnt Bread that's made with two other regional specialties: crusty San Francisco sourdough and garlic from Gilroy, California that's roasted until it becomes creamy and spreadable.
For the Roasted Garlic Bread:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Tear off a large sheet of aluminum foil. Add the garlic cloves, oil and salt, and wrap tightly in the aluminum foil. Bake until the garlic is golden brown and cloves are tender, about 35 minutes. Cool.
Grill or toast bread under a broiler on both sides, until golden dark brown, and almost burnt on the edges. (This is my favorite part, soaking up the rich Cioppino broth with crunchy sourdough). Brush with the oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread with the roasted garlic cloves by pushing them into every single crevice to the point that it almost seems excessive—but it won't be, trust me.
For the Cioppino:
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel and onions, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the jalapenos, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, fennel seed, bay leaf and salt, and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes, you almost want it to stick to the bottom of pot, and cook until deep and rich in color while moving continuously. Next add the Pernod and white wine. Cook down until liquid is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes with their juices, fish stock, and clam juice. Cover and bring to a simmer anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low.
Cover and simmer until everything marries for about 30 minutes.
Add the washed and cleaned clams and mussels. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 35 minutes. Add the shrimp, rock cod, and crab. Simmer until the fish, shrimp and crab are just cooked through, another 35 minutes. Stir gently, and cook about 5 minutes longer (FYI you want to get rid of any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt if needed and stir in the fresh herbs at the last minute before serving. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with my Gilroy Garlicky almost burnt bread.