It's January, the winter chill has finally set in, and nothing sounds better than curling up with a hearty, filling stew. Don't sacrifice your New Year's resolutions just yet. Try this satisfying and light Cioppino instead of something that will weigh you down.
Cioppino is an Italian-American fish stew that originated in San Francisco, California. Originally it was made on boats while out at sea and later became a staple in Italian restaurants.
You can add all sorts of seafood to this stew — clams, mussels, shrimp, white fishes, salmon, octopus — you name it. Serve it with white wine and some crusty bread to sop up the flavorful broth.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound clams, scrubbed
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
As the season for wild-caught salmon comes to a close, you might be wondering what alternatives are out there. What fish is comparable in texture, flavor and healthy oils?
Well, we have the just the fish for you! The Organic Butcher is now carrying responsibly and sustainably farm-raised Arctic Char.
Arctic Char has a distinct light, sweet flavor and firm pink flesh that is similar to salmon, though milder. It is nutrient-rich and an excellent source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
If you are turned off by farm-raised fish, know that the environmentally friendly method used to farm Arctic Char is completely different than farmed salmon. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch gives Arctic Char a “Best Choice” eco-rating as opposed to Salmon which ranges from the lesser "Good Alternative" to "No, Thanks" ratings. We are careful to source our Arctic Char from responsible farmers.
If you have never had Arctic Char, you are in for a treat. It's mild taste will appeal to a wide range of palates.
ARCTIC CHAR WITH CHARMOULA (Food & Wine)
This roasted garlic charmoula — a classic North African marinade and sauce packed with fresh herbs and spices — is excellent with a rich fish, such as arctic char or salmon.
Four 5-ounce, skin-on Arctic Char fillets
3 unpeeled garlic cloves
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped green olives
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
In a small skillet, toast the garlic over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the skins blacken, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly; discard the skins.
In a food processor, puree 1/3 cup of the oil, the garlic, parsley, cilantro, olives, lemon juice, cumin and paprika until smooth. Transfer the charmoula to a bowl and season with salt.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place it skin side down in the skillet. Cook the fish over moderately high heat until the skin is golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the fish and cook just until it flakes easily, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve the fish with the charmoula.
Recipe Suggestion: SIMPLE GRILLED SALMON from Primal Palate The simple marinade for this salmon is our go-to marinade for chicken, fish, or shrimp. It is also fantastic over lamb, and would pair well with pork as well. The lemon in this marinade brings fresh flavor to the deep aromas of the basil and oregano.
1 lb. Wild Caught Salmon Filet
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Lemon, juiced
Our first recipe submission comes to us from friend of the store, Laura Allen. She whipped up this light and healthy meal with fresh Sea Bass purchased from us. Because Laura was chosen to be featured, she'll enjoy 15% off her next purchase! Scroll down to see how you can earn 15% off, too, and be the talk of the town!
Sea Bass with Citrus and Soy (Bon Appetit, March 2002)
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 6-ounce sea bass fillets
Chopped green onions
Mix first 6 ingredients in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Add fish; turn to coat. Chill 2 hours, turning fish occasionally.
Place steamer rack in large skillet. Arrange fish on rack. Pour marinade into skillet under rack and bring to boil. Cover skillet and steam fish until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Transfer fish to plates. Remove steamer rack from skillet. Boil marinade until reduced enough to coat spoon, about 6 minutes; spoon over fish. Top with green onions.
A Note from Laura: I added cornstarch at the end to the sauce to thicken and then served it with sautéed spinach (coconut oil and shallots) and mashed cauliflower.
We will be featuring customer submitted recipes on our blog and social media on a regular basis. If you would like to be featured, send us an email with your recipe, any pertinent notes and photos of the final dish. As always, more is better so if you have photos of the cooking process or one of yourself, please include them. Be sure to specify which products were purchased at The Organic Butcher. Send all submissions to email@example.com.
If your recipe is chosen, you'll receive 15% off your next purchase!
Also, don't forget to tag us (@theorganicbutcherofmclean) on your Instagram photos.
Switch it up tonight with our line-caught Coho salmon from Alaska. Coho is slightly milder in flavor than Sockeye but with the same beautiful red-orange color. Because wild salmon is not in season, this is the highest quality fish on the market right now. It's frozen at sea to ensure optimal freshness.
Salmon is extremely high in healthy omega-3 fats and is as satisfying in flavor as a piece of steak. We love the recipe below for it's added punch of hot, spicy, sour and sweet. These four elements are what make Asian cuisine so savory.
The recipe calls for Sriracha sauce but a great alternative would be KimKim Korean Hot Sauce. It's locally made in Virginia and is similar to the more common ssamjang sauce found on Korean tables.
We also highly recommend Noble Barrel Matured Maple Syrup. It's unlike anything we've ever had. They pour their heart and soul into crafting this syrup. This blurb from their site says it all:
The Noble brand of handcrafted wares is proud to bring you Noble Tonic 01: Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup. Noble procures medium amber grade Maple syrup from heritage sugar shacks in the ancient maple orchards of Québec. The syrup is then matured in Tuthilltown charred American oak barrels, with just a hint of raw Tuthilltown bourbon. This combination and process produces a distinct bourbon, maple and oak flavored syrup. Tuthilltown is New York's first whiskey distillery since the age of Prohibition. This small batch micro-distillery, using locally sourced heirloom corn, apples and grains, embodies the new American pioneering spirit of our age. Noble Handcrafted reflects this same spirit. We hope you enjoy this collaboration of tradition and craft.
Salmon with Sriracha, Maple Syrup & Lime (From the cookbook It's All Good)
1 1/4 lbs salmon filet
Zest of 1/2 lime
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 tsp Sriracha or KimKim Korean Hot Sauce
1 tbsp Tonic Maple Syrup
Course sea salt
2 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together the lime zest and juice, sriracha, and maple syrup along with a pinch of salt. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, place the salmon on top, and pour the mixture over it. Roast until the salmon is done to your liking, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Grilling season is in full swing and we are loving every second of it! We really enjoy cooking whole fish on the grill, especially Bronzino. We often get them wild-caught from the Mediterranean and we recommend cooking them whole because it imparts a nice richness into the flavor of the fish. We kept it simple with just fresh herbs, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper but we have a great selection of different rubs and marinades in the shop that work great with fish. Red Snapper and Stripped Sea Bass are other good options for whole fish on the grill!
2 whole Bronzino
2 diced garlic cloves
1 sliced lemon
1/2 c. of chopped parsley
1/4 c. of a quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 c. of lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
On the Grill:
1 lemon - halved and grilled
Step 1 - Chop the parsley, dice the garlic and mix in with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper
Step 2 - Brush the inside and outside of the fish with your mix then stuff with lemon slices
Step 3 - Coat the rack of your grill with olive oil
Step 4 - Heat your grill to a Medium-High heat or 400 degrees
Step 5 - Cook for 6-7 minutes on each side, finish with a dash of sea salt and squeezed grilled lemon half to taste and enjoy!
(**If you decide not to grill, you can cook it in the oven at 375 degrees uncovered for 20 minutes**)
This fish pairs exceptionally well with a rich and full-bodied white wine. At The Organic Butcher, we are now carrying an amazing Chardonnay by local winery, Tarara Winery, located just down the road in Leesburg, VA., that is perfect for this dish!
This bottle is rich and complex with aromas of baked apple, mandarin, crème fraiche, and a slight smokiness that adds to the flavors of your dish. The Chardonnay has a long mouth-feel with a bright acidity, making it perfect for pairing with fish! This is genuinely one of the best bottles of white wine I've tried all summer.
I decided to stick with a mediterrean theme and picked up some local tomatoes and organic cucumbers from the shop and made a quick tossed salad with feta cheese, vinegar, salt and pepper. This meal can impress anyone and requires very little time and effort!