Father’s Day Dinner

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Fiery Fish Stew

How do you honor the best Father in the world? You make him whatever he wants.  He asked for Cioppino this year.  If you have never had Cioppino, it’s a spicy tomato and wine based fish stew.  If you love seafood, this is a dream dinner.  This recipe can be tailored with your favorite seafood.  Cioppino is surprisingly easy to make.  It’s all in the prep and timing.

Prep time- 20 minutes

Cook time- 10minutes

Servings- 2

Ingredients for Stew

3/4 lb Halibut cut into 6 pieces, 6 scallops, 4 peeled and deveined shrimp, 6 live manila clams, 4 mussels,  1/4 cup of fresh fennel chopped, 1/2 serrano chile chopped, 2 chile de arbol, 2 shallots or 1/4 cup chopped, 3 cloves of garlic chopped, 1 1/2 cup white wine, , 1 jar 24 oz of Mariana sauce*,  1 cup of jarred clam juice, pinch of crushed peppers, and olive oil for sauté

*Using store bought Marinara sauce and clam juice expedite this recipe.  My favorite jar sauce is San Marzano SUGO di POMODORO.

Ingredients for Garlic Butter Crostini 

1 loaf of french bread slices large, 1 stick of cold salted butter, 14 cloves of garlic, 1 cup of parsley, and 3 anchovy strips

Before any cooking can take place all of the prep has to be completed. 

1.  Place clams and mussels in ice water so they will release excess sand.

2.  Remove the hair or beard from the mussels.

3.  Cut halibut into 6 pieces and keep shrimp and scallops in refrigerator until ready to cook.

4.  Toast sliced bread on a griddle on medium heat until golden on both sides and set aside.

5.  Chop fennel, serranos, shallots, garlic and extra parsley for garnish.

6.  Place stick of cold butter cut into 5 pieces, garlic, parsley, and anchovies into food processor and pulse until it forms a paste.

Cook’s Note-you have to remove the frond, the green, frizzy stem, from the fennel and cut out the core.


Time to cook

Place Marinara sauce and clam juice in a sauce pot on low heat.  In a large skillet add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan on medium-high heat.


Season halibut, scallops and shrimp with salt.  When the oil is hot place the halibut and cook on one side for 2 1/2 minutes then 1 1/2 minutes on the other.  You are trying to achieve a brown crust.  You will know when oil is hot when it starts to move in the skillet or begins to smoke.  Do not concern yourself with cooking the fish through because it will continue to cook while in a hot stew.  Once halibut is browned on both sides set aside on separate plate.  Next, cook the scallops on one side for 2 minutes and 1 minute on the other side and set aside.


Add fennel, serranos, shallots, garlic, and arbol chile to skillet.  Sauté until soft about 2 minutes.  Add more olive oil if needed.


Add clams and mussels to the skillet along with the sautéed vegetables and add wine.  Raise burner to high heat and bring to a boil and cover with lid.  The clams and mussels will steam and open in 3 minutes.  Do not open lid and peek.  If one of the clams or mussels do not open throw it away it is dead.  Lastly, add marinara and clam juice into skillet along with the halibut and scallops.  Throw in the shrimp and pinch of crushed peppers and turn off heat.  Taste liquid for seasoning.  You may need to add more salt.


Place equal amounts of fish into each bowl.  Smear garlic butter on crostini and put into soup.  Garnish with added parsley and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into stew and enjoy!


Happy Father’s Day

Cook’s Note

1.  Using store bought Marinara sauce and clam juice expedite this recipe.  My favorite jar sauce is San Marzano SUGO di POMODORO.

2.  We usually drink a crisp chilled sauvignon blanc with dinner.  Cheers!


The Author

I'm an earnest mother and wife doing her best to provide a delicious and memorable dinner table for her family. Life get's busy and it's so easy to throw in the towel and order out or heat up a pre-made meal. I've committed myself to making a homemade meal at least 4 times a week. I would like to share what I've learned with a group of people who are also home-cooks doing their best for their loved ones. Let's share our best recipes with each other and broaden our menu's to ease the age old question "what's for dinner?"


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