About a week ago the new Bon Appetit arrived. Not QUITE as full of food porn as the now-defunct Gourmet magazine, but this issue was close. They had a picture of the most delicious-looking Cioppino (Italian Seafood Stew) and I decided that I needed to make Cioppino. Their recipe came from the East Coast, and I live on the West Coast, so there were a few changes in the recipe, and I happen to like a lot of veg in my seafood stew.
For any of you who like to cook, you know making a seafood stew is really expensive. The key is to watch the ads. When something goes on sale - it usually arrives at the store in 5 pound bags or so, flash frozen. What they put out has been thawed from those bags. This includes lobster, big shrimp, scallops and some other seafood like tuna. Ask your seafood person if they have still-frozen portions, and tuck those away in your freezer when they're on sale. You'll save about half, and they thaw quickly in a bowl of cold water. Sometimes you'll have to buy a large quantity, so networking with friends is good because often you can split a bag or case of something expensive (lobster.) I'm such a hippy - lol!
A few things you have to buy fresh, of course - the bivalves (mussels and clammage.)
The Cioppino turned out great. I took over a large container the first night to the neighbors across the street. Tonight we had neighbors from the other across and from behind - the behind ones are moving away tomorrow - CRY.
I had added fresh zucchini to the Cioppino in the picture - OMG - perfection. We ate it with fresh baguette. We talked and laughed and everyone said that it was the best they'd ever had.
Then the neighbor from across the street came over and said they ate it tonight, and she thought her visiting father was going to stick his face in the bowl and lick it out. LOL! Her parents are visiting from India, so I am thrilled they enjoyed my cooking.
One of my guests tonight said she told her mom last night that I reminded her of her Grama, in that I just wanted to feed people and make them feel happy.
I count that among the highest compliments I've ever received in my life.
She went home, and ten minutes later, another neighbor knocked on the door (it's now 10 pm) and said, Ruby, I am sorry to ask, but my husband had a root canal this afternoon, they only gave him Ibuprofen, he's in agony, what do I do? I sent her home with a remedy and an ice pack from the freezer. He's feeling better now.
My daughter used to tease me about having to be the Mommy of the whole world.
If you're on a quest for World Domination, I think it's a good start.