Shawn Giordano, a private chef for a family on New York's Upper East Side, perfected the craft alongside Wolfgang Puck. Giordano started at Spago Beverly Hills, then continued at several other restaurants owned by Puck. When he's relaxing at home, Shawn likes to prepare dishes that remind him of his childhood in the Hudson Valley, where "everything was homemade." His Italian-American father even pressed grapes to make wine for the family.
Cioppino is a hearty seafood stew developed in San Francisco more than a century ago. Some say the name derives from the phrase "chip in," because Italian fishermen working in the Bay Area were asked to contribute their catch of the day to make the stew. The more accepted version, though, is that the name comes from the Genovese word ciuppin, meaning chowder. Cioppino is an ideal winter dish -- hearty and comforting, but lighter than many meat-based stews. And it never fails to impress dinner guests with its range of rich flavors, textures and colors.Cioppino takes about 30 minutes to prepare. The recipe below is Shawn's version of the traditional stew, and it serves four.
- 3 dozen little-neck clams
- 3 dozen mussels
- 1 pound medium-size shrimp
- 1 pound large scallops
- 1 filet of scrod or halibut, about 10 oz., cut into 6-8 pieces
- 4 parsley sprigs, 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 leeks, sliced into ½-inch pieces (white portion only)
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cans white cannellini beans
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic bulb (only 3 cloves needed, but it might be easier to roast the whole bulb)
- 2 raw garlic cloves
- 1 large can (2 cups) plum tomatoes
- 1 cup olive oil.
- ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp butter
- Splash of white wine or sherry vinegar
- Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
Roasted garlic: in a small pot add 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 garlic bulb. Slow roast on medium-low heat until golden brown. Let cool and remove shell from cloves.