It’s the New Year, and along with so many other people in the world, it’s time to focus on health! Yoga studios will no doubt be packed, lettuce will be sparse, and gym memberships will skyrocket. I really do try to make healthy choices all year long, but there is something about the New Year that feels different to me and so many others: it is the rebooting of our souls, the spring cleaning of our stomachs, and the flushing out of all bad things—including habits, memories, and sugar. That last one is TOUGH! I decided, and my husband concurred, that this is the year of more veggies and fish, daily walks, and practicing conscious mindfulness.
This ciopinno was the perfect dish to share with my husband as we prepared to say goodbye to our lovely 2 weeks staycation together. We paired it with a heavenly Sauvignon Blanc, lit some candles, started a fire, and put on a Billie Holiday record: it was the perfect date night at home—spicy, warm, and full of hope for a year brimming with the promise of abundant health and happiness.
This dish is supposed to have a mix of fish: scallops, shrimp, calamari, clams, mussels, halibut, etc. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on 1 pound each of all that fish, so I just bought 2 packages of frozen fish at Trader Joe’s and thawed them before use. Please feel free to add whatever you like! Mine was shrimp heavy, but I love shrimp. Also ciopinnos usually do not have carrots, but I wanted to add more veggies and also to bulk it up a bit because I did not add 4 or more pounds of fish.
1 pound raw shrimp, thawed (Trader Joe’s)
1 pound raw mixed fish: scallops, calamari, and shrimp, thawed (Trader Joe’s)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoons tomato paste
2-3 large carrots, sliced
1 32oz container gluten free vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)
1 ½ cups of white wine (I used a mellow, inexpensive chardonnay)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (this made it medium spicy)
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning or oregano
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
**5 garlic cloves, diced (optional)
**1 large yellow onion, diced (optional)
**If you have IBS or a very sensitive stomach, do not add the garlic and onions. I made this recipe without them and it was great!
If you are using garlic and onions, add them to your soup pot with a couple tablespoons olive oil and the sliced carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium. Then add the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, a few pinches salt and some cracked black pepper. Stir in the tomato paste and then add the wine—scrape up any bits with your wooden spoon. Let wine come to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes or so, or until reduced by half. Then, add the tomatoes, fish sauce, stock, bay leaf and a few more pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Increase heat to medium high and add the fish along with any juices in the bags—cook for 5 minutes (do not overcook!) Add some more salt to taste and serve.
My husband enjoyed this with some crusty bread as I looked on…it was great for me by itself!