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Dinner Date

11/30/2010 08:52AM ● Published by Style

Cookbook photographs by Sheri Giblin

DRUNKEN SONOMA CIOPPINO

The Winemaker Cooks: Menus, Parties and Pairings by Christine Hanna;
(Chronicle Books, 2010, $35)

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 anchovies, mashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and finely diced (fronds reserved)
  • 1 red bell pepper/capsicum, seeded, deveined, and finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste/tomato puree
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups good-quality fish stock
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 18 clams, scrubbed
  • 18 mussels, scrubbed, and de-bearded if needed
  • 1 lb. red snapper, cut into 2-in/5-cm pieces
  • 1 lb. tiger shrimp/prawns
  • 1 lb. sea scallops, halved if large
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large, heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until simmering. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, anchovies, bay leaf, and oregano and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the fennel, bell pepper/capsicum, and jalapeño and sauté 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the tomato paste/tomato puree, then the red wine, fish stock, and tomatoes, breaking the tomatoes up with the back of a wooden spoon. Adjust heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. The stew base can be made a day ahead, before adding the seafood.

Add the clams and mussels to the simmering stew base, cover, and cook until the shellfish have opened, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams and mussels to a bowl. Discard any shellfish that haven’t opened. Add the red snapper, shrimp/prawns, and scallops to the pot and cook for 3 minutes or until the shrimp/prawns are evenly pink. Return the clams and mussels to the pot and heat for 1 minute. Serve in shallow soup bowls, garnished with the parsley and finely chopped reserved fennel fronds. Serves 6.

CORTI BROTHERS MONDEUSE 2009

Wine photo by Aaron Roseli

Last call for a wine variety that has history in the Napa Valley. Mondeuse is a French variety, which under its other name “Rofosco,” was used to make a famous and fashionable 19th century wine known as “Crabb’s Black Burgundy” from H.W. Crabb’s Kalon Vineyard in Oakville. It was also used in Beaulieu Vineyard’s famous Burgundy. Over the years, Corti Brothers has quietly sold a red wine produced from a small plot of Mondeuse vines grown on the Marchese Antinori’s Vineyard at Atlas Peak, in the Napa Valley. Our Corti Brothers Mondeuse 2009 was produced especially for us at Napa Cellars in Yountville, and this vintage is the very last of its kind in California, as the vineyard has been pulled out.

Corti Brothers Mondeuse 2009 is a very fresh, lively and drinkable wine. Bottled young, it is meant for drinking. With good, dark color; a scented, slight rose-like perfume; soft flavor typical of the variety; a little spiciness; and pleasant balanced tannin – this wine is perfect for most cold weather fare. It is versatile enough to go from reception to the dinner table and pairs well with antipasto, appetizers, dishes of red meat and poultry, and is excellent with red-broth soups and cioppino.

Rick Mindermann
Rick is Store Director of Corti Brothers in Sacramento,  personal assistant to Darrell Corti, and  “The Good Taste Guy” for oodleboxtv.com.

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