Saturday, August 2, 2008


As promised see below for the recipe for Jono's California Cioppino ...

as served at Fred, Jono & Jessica's Venice beach graduation party.

Jono is from the San Francisco area where this fish stew originated (via Italy.) The bread and wines served at the party also originated in northern California and were generously supplied by Jono's parents who live in Berkeley.

(Jane and Jono)

It’s really quick to make once you chop up all of the veggies.
(Jono's mom was assigned to pepper chopping duty)

(Jessica chopped fish into cubes.)

(Fred set out the appetizers.)

(I stirred the stew in between documenting the event.)

Cioppino (Seafood Stew)

For Broth:
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
2 cups (red, yellow and orange) bell pepper diced
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger root, peeled and minced
3 cups (about1 1/2 lbs) fresh or drained canned plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup flat-leaved parsley, chopped
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups fishstock or bottled clam juice
About 1 teaspoon salt
About 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1-2 pound mix of firm fish (monkfish, swordfish, cod, halibut), cut into cubes
2 large hard shell crabs, disjointed and cracked
1 pound of large shrimp
1/2 pound baby squid
12 little neck clams, well scrubbed
12 mussels, debearded and well scrubbed
1/4 cup fresh Thai basil or cilantro
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Few dashes of pepper flakes or hot pepper sauce

Heat oil in large heavy pot like a Dutch oven. Add shallots and peppers, and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for another minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and about half of the parsley and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the wine, the stock or clam juice, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the crab, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the fish and squid, cover and cook 5 minutes longer. Add the shrimp, cover and simmer about 3 minutes.

In a separate pot, place the clams, mussels and remaining cup of wine. Cover and bring to a boil, then cook for about 6 minutes. Strain the liquid into the Cioppino pot, then add the clams and mussels, discarding any that remain closed.

Add lemon juice and basil or cilantro and stir well. Taste and re-season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with lemon wedges, hot sauce and bread for dipping. Serves 6.

Last week I received a message from Blogspot that their new automated scanner had identified my blog as potential spam and blocked me from posting.

The message instructed me to click on blogspot's site and request a real human to double check (thereby proving I was a real human.) Being skeptical I cut and pasted the url instead of clicking.

I was informed that if my blog was not certified as "real", it would be deleted.

In a state of panic, I did as told and tried contacting blogspot in dozens of other ways.

I also warned other bloggers of Blogspot's awful new "feature"

Yesterday, a friend suggested that I try to pos in case it was a hoax.

Since you have now read a new post, the message was obviously a fake! I am quite relieved. It was a Kafka-esque experience.

SUNDAY UPDATE: Yipee! It wasn't a hoax. Blogger goofed. Thousands of folks got the same message and blogger sent out a letter titled "You Are Not Spam." I feel better now.


NeereAnDear said...

Omgoodness that stew looks divine... I can smell it from here... I am sure it tastes as good as it looks...

On the blogger situation... apparently it is a problem that is preventing one from going into others sites to post comments.. I had it happen to me ... Nancy at feteetfleur had it happen to her... it told us we were blocked from particular sites via Internet Explorer and that the attempt to get into the blog was aborted... That came up in a message block...

I talked to my programmer and its been a widespread problem that was supposedly fixed but it still has some quirks... should anyone have some of the same problems just keep trying... it took me twentry four hours to log onto some of my favorite blogs

Others said to try firefox but it did the same to me from there



Fifi Flowers said...

YUM... that looks incredible... saving that recipe... hubby loves that!

About the alert... I never recieved that email... but my site was down yesterday... and on blogger it said many sites had been marked as spam and would be receiving an email... hmmm... I'm just glad mine is up and running again... I would've freaked if they said I was to be deleted... ugh... back up your site!

Lisa said...

This looks delicious. I'm going to print this out and try it.

On another note, I had the same trouble with my blog.

It's apparently tied to the site meter widget. If anyone has the site meter widget on their site, they should temporarily remove it. That should open up cyber-wide access again.

Monitor Typepad home page to get the all clear to re-install the widget.

Desperate Diva said...

Hi There,
Wow...what a scare. I can't imagine losing ALL of my hard work put into my blog. You must have been nuts trying to Fix It...!!!
So happy though that the problem is solved....What a way to get your....Attention...LOL..!

Looks like you had a fabulous time away with your son. Glad you're home.


Catherine Holman said...

Hi Barbara,
Looks like a great party and I can almost smell that fish stew.
I didn't get an email like that but everytime I do a new post I have to type letters (which I can hardly read)in a box before it will post. It never used to be there but I found out that blogger thinks that I'm a spam blogger and not an actual person. I've tried to get this corrected but they won't respond. They still let me post as long as I type in the crypted letters first. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks,

Tracie~MPMaison said...

Well, let's try this again~ No disappearing act here Blogger ;)

I am glad things worked out with your blog. How very scary (reminds me I better back up!).

Barbara, the party looks like such fun, love the sparkly little lights to add to the ambiance of cheerfulness at the party (it's the little things that count).

Thank you for the recipe for the cioppino, it looks delicious. I can almost smell it cooking from the picture. I think I may make it today, so better get a move on!

Happy day!

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Oh yummy! That looks delicious Barbara!

I am so glad the whole blogspot issue got worked out. Crazy, huh?!

Some other bloggers are having a problem with sitemeter on their blogs. And earlier this week I couldn't view a couple of blogs for some reason.

I just read the other comments here before posting and see others have said the same thing..

So Shabby Pink said...

I had the blogger thing happen to me too. It's all okay now though.

I have to make this stew! Hmmmmm....everything but the squid. :-). It looks so wonderful!


The Feathered Nest said...

I know Barbara ~ I panicked when I couldn't view my blog!! Mine was labeled as spam too...thank goodness they straightened it all out. Shows me just how much I love staying it touch with everyone. I hope what I emailed you was enough ~ thanks for stopping by to see me and hope you enjoy your days off! xxoo, Dawn
ps. the stew DOES look delicious!!

okidu said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
The graduation party was great fun - our guys know how to live, eat, drink and be merry with friends and family!
Your photography captured the festive mood of the evening - I look forward to your new book.
All the best, Jane

Jennifer said...

This looks yummy! Thanks for posting.

Tara said...

This stew sounds like a keeper! I am going to try it out!

Chris said...

Mmmm....cioppino! Give me a bowl of cioppino, a hunk of garlic bread & a glass of red wine and I'm a happy girl! Your recipe looks delicious, I'm filing it away for future use - soon.

That whole "spam" episode was awful. It didn't affect my own blog, but I couldn't get to some of my favorites for two days. Whaaah!

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

WOW! That should be a Hallmark
card!!! "You are not spam"!!!

M ^..^

Susan Tuttle said...

I am getting very hungry looking at all of this delicious food.

How horrible regarding that e-mail from blogger -- I'm sure it upset a lot of people. Glad that it was a mistake.


Country French Antiques said...

Bonjour Barbara,
Merci beaucoup for stopping by my blog!
I have added you to my blogroll.
Have a wonderfully romantic week!!

Susie Q said...

Doesn't that stew look delicious! I just copied the recipe so we could try it. It looks so pretty too!

I just returned from a trip to PA and NY state. Saw some of the loveliest homes...

I just read about this blogger glitch! I guess it affected lots of people. I am so sorry for the trouble and worry it caused you dear Barbara!


Julie said...

That looks so wonderful and what a great recipe for a casual party too.

I really appreciate the warning. I get so nervous about the internet and giving out too much info.

Daisy Cottage said...

Well of course you are NOT Spam, Barbara!! ;-)

I'm glad that all got worked out AND now I am absolutely starving for some of that stew. Oh my!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Tutti Chic said...

That stew looks SO delicious! looks like it was a group effort there! Enjoyed this post~:) chris