I am now officially all set to begin my dietetic internship. In case you are curious about my journey to becoming a Registered Dietitian, you can read about it here. Let's see...what did I do? I collected my immunization records from my mom. I only had 2 things remaining: 1) Tetanus shot (my arm was sore for days) and 2) PPD skin test - miraculously, my TB test came out negative..well barely. I was certain that it would be positive, as I received a BCG booster shot in Korea (a.k.a the alien mark), in which case I would've had to get a chest x-ray done. No complaints here ;). I completed a drug test, and it turns out I'm not doing drugs. Good to know. Textbooks and pocket guidebooks have been borrowed or purchased. The only thing left to do now is pay my tuition and go shopping for some work-appropriate clothes. Having been a student for the past 3 years, all I have are t-shirts and jeans. Oh how I'll miss them...
It felt so great to check off everything on the list that it called for a celebration. And yes, I find every reason to throw mini-parties. You should too. The Hungryman wanted to do a queso and margharita night. Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law, he's been dreaming of queso lately. You see, my brother-in-law works at a Mexican restaurant (the best one there is..I may be a bit biased ;)), and at least twice a week he brings home queso, tortilla chips, quesadillas... We get to participate every time we visit them in Houston. Let's just say it leaves a lasting impression on The Hungryman. I don't condone it, but I can't stop the man from eating when he enjoys it so much.
As for me, I had something else in mind. Seafood Cioppino! Now, I've never made this before, but when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, I had confidence that I could do it! A lot of times, dishes with fancy names aren't too terribly difficult to make if you have the right tools and great ingredients. Take my Almond Blueberry Biscotti, for instance. Nothing to it.
I have to be honest. I shied away from this dish for quite some time not only bc I believed it to be difficult to make but also bc of the cost and the hassle of obtaining various types of seafood. But I should've known, I could count on good ol' Costo to come to my rescue. They sell a seafood medley that made my life so much simpler. Scrubbing the shells was the only real "work" I had to do. All you need is a wide, heavy dutch oven, and you've got a one pot wonder that comes together in under 40 minutes. The only change I made to the recipe was adding the seafood directly into the pot rather than cooking them separately in a skillet and then adding them. I didn't want to commit the crime of overcooking. Actually, I didn't want to wash another item if I could help it :).
The Hungryman and I really enjoyed this meal. For me,
chewing gnawing on the sourdough bread soaked in all that deep, rich flavor was the highlight of this whole experience. Don't be intimidated by the name. Seafood Cioppino, you're no tough guy around here anymore. Make this and you'll know what I mean ;).
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups vertically sliced onion
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 green bell pepper diced (¼" pieces)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- ½ cup clam juice
- 1 35 oz can diced tomatoes w/ basil
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Ibs mixed seafood I used mussels, shrimp, scallops
- Chopped basil
- Fresh lemon juice
- Sourdough or Foccacia
- Heat a Dutch oven over med-high heat. Add 1 Tbs oil. Add onion; sauté 1 min. Add garlic, bell pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, bay leaves; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 8 min, stirring occasionally. Add wine, tomatoes, broth, clam juice. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20-25 min.
- Scrub mussels (or clams), add to stew and simmer covered. Once mussels open up, transfer with tongs or slotted spoon to empty dish (discard any clams unopened after 10 min). Season other seafood, add to stew, and simmer covered until cooked through, approx 5 min. Discard bay leaves and return mussels back to pot.
- Stir in basil and lemon juice. Serve with sourdough or foccacia.