Monday, December 21, 2009

Enjoying the Beautiful Sunset at the Beach & Seafood Cioppino

Hello everyone! Can you believe it? Christmas is almost here! I realize that Christmas is supposed to be all cold and freezing outside but warm and cozy inside your home with your family and maybe even your close friends - but I'm in Pismo Beach. Cold and freezing Christmas almost never happens here. The weather is amazingly warm and cozy outside. We went out last night to the pier in a light jacket and jeans and we didn't freeze! I got some pictures from the beach like I promised. I just love watching the sun set at the beach. It's just so romantic, don't you think? What's even greater is to watch all the surfers cruising through big waves with the sunset behind them. It's pretty awesome.

For some reason, this bird looks incredibly lonely to me, but yet beautiful. But I think it has been photoed so many times before cause seriously there were at least five other people taking pictures of it and it posed for everyone.

Well, enough with the beach and the bird... Today, I'd like to share a great seafood recipe with you. Now that we are staying at Pismo Beach, it's been so much easier to get great seafood for a great deal! Seafood is really my favorite thing to eat. I haven't necessarily cooked it often. Two reasons: One, it's expensive where we live. Two, I'm really particular about purchasing any seafood. I don't like frozen seafood. And if it smells too fishy, I gag, and a lot of groceries here sell seafood that smell too fishy and old. It's probably because they don't know how to store fish properly. The only places I trust enough to buy seafood is Costco and Safeway, if you're wondering. They don't normally freeze their seafood other than maybe prawns and most fish I've found there are fresh.

This seafood soup is definitely a keeper. It's got great fresh seafood ingredients - except this one thing that you might think is a little off but I thought it was an excellent choice for this particular soup. Okay, ready? Canned clams! They were actually great for this soup! I would have never thought of using them if it wasn't for my mother-in-law. But I was pleasantly surprised by the look and the taste of the canned clams.

This recipe was actually adapted and changed from my other Tuscan seafood recipe. My mother-in-law got all the meat out of king crabs. Thank goodness I didn't have to do that! :) And after putting all the seafood ingredients together, it became a great, chunky seafood cioppino soup. It tasted so great. Great with french bread loaf or rice. I put about 1/2 cup full of cooked white rice in the soup in my bowl and yum, it was delicious!

Seafood Chunky Cioppino

Printable Recipe


1/2 - 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (*I used 3/4 cup and it worked out great. However, the next time I make this soup, I'd reduce it to 1/2 cup.)
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced (*or more, if you're a big garlic fan! I am! So I used about 6 cloves)
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup dry red wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons basil
3-4 king crab legs, cooked and shelled (*Save the big pieces of shells for flavoring)
1 canned clams (*I drained half the juice and use the other half)
12 or more large shrimp or prawns, peeled and deveined
12 or more large scallops
3 cups cold water
6-8 thick slices crusty French bread, grilled/toasted


Heat olive oil in a 6 quart pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until soft.

Add wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook at a brisk simmer for 5 minutes, or until the wine no longer smells of alcohol. Add the big pieces of shells into the pot.

Add tomatoes, all but 2 tablespoons of parsley and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat until the sauce simmers gently. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add king crabs, clams and shrimp; stir. Add scallops, and stir gently. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the liquid starts to bubble. Add water. Cover and reduce the heat so the mixture simmers but does not boil. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the clams open the other seafood is opaque in the center. (Do not overcook, otherwise the scallops will be rubbery and yucky.) Take out the big pieces of king crab shells.

Serve with bread or rice.

Sook the Cook


  1. iloved love your chower it was sooo goood.your the best cook sook.. sue

  2. WOW! Looks so comforting and tasty :D

  3. This seafood dish is so perfect with the beach view. :D

  4. Awwww, you were in my home state! So jealous you had a chance to experience the warm, sunny winters of California. It's my first winter away :(

    The seafood cioppino looks so soothing for cold days. I used to work at an Italian restaurant and they had some amazing seafood cioppino. I'm craving some right now, no thanks to you ;)

  5. Hi Dhale-
    I didn't know you are from California! We live in No. Cal but love being here in So. Cal. :) The weather is gorgeous and we are off to the beach right now. :)

  6. Thanks so much for this recipe. My husband loves this kind of stuff...he'll love you (me) :-)

    Love the photos of that beach and the Pelican. Denver is supposed to get 8 - 12 inches of snow tomorrow, that ought to get us in the Christmas Spirit!

  7. Beautiful pictures! That stew looks delicious and comforting!

  8. Lea Ann-
    Wow! I really miss the snow! Where I grew up snowed a lot during winter. But 8-12 inches of snow sounds like a lot! :)

  9. That cioppino looks really good. Your photos are beautiful, too.

    Thanks, by the way, for visiting and commenting on my blog earlier!