Wednesday, October 19, 2011


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One of my favorite stops on our West Coast Drive was in Moss Landing at Phil’s Fish Market and Eatery. It’s a little off the beaten path, but boy is it the place to eat at!! OMG I wish I could have tried everything on the menu.

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The best thing to do is grab a menu and find a seat to study it. They have a huge variety of dishes and any kind of seafood you could imagine. We started out with some Fried Clam Strips $7.95 and a bowl of New England Clam Chowder $3.95. The clams where ok, didn’t wow me, but it was nicely fried and not over cooked. The clam chowder on the other hand was AMAZING and by far one of the best we’ve ever had.

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Hubby decided to order the Stuffed Mai Mai Fish $19.95 which was so moist and melt in your mouth good.

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I on the other hand was here for the famous Cioppino which beat Bobby Flay in a Throwdown! For a single size serving you get a bowl of cioppino, salad and garlic bread all for $20.95. Then they bring it out and I was about to have a heart attack.

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The bowl was huge!! I didn’t even touch the salad and bread I felt kind of bad about wasting it. The cioppino was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. The broth just sings in your mouth. They don’t skimp on the seafood either. I had huge chunks of fish and crab. The very best part is that none of the seafood was overcooked. I couldn’t have been any happier. Before I get to his recipe, here’s a few pictures of Phil signing my book and taking a quick picture with me.

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Phil DiGirolamo's Famous Cioppino
(Adapted from Phil DiGirolamo via Bobby Flay’s Throwdown)

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Serve with 1 pound of fresh linguine. Cook pasta separately; place in individual bowls and cover with Cioppino. Delicious with sourdough bread.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound Little Neck clams
1/4 cup white wine
8 ounces mussels, scrubbed
2 quarts Cioppino Sauce, recipe follows
2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
Pinch saffron
8 ounces  medium shrimp, shell on
8 ounces squid tubes, cut in rings
8 ounces firm-fleshed white fish fillets cut in 2-inch cubes
4 ounces bay scallops
1 pound Dungeness crab, cooked, cleaned and cracked (preferably Dungeness)

Put the olive oil, butter, and garlic in a wide, deep pot over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, but not brown. Add the wine and the clams, and cover. Turn the heat up to medium-high and steam until the clams start to open, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and steam until the just start to open, about 2 minutes.

Now stir in the cioppino sauce, the Worcestershire sauce and saffron and bring to a simmer. Add the cracked crabs, if using, and the shrimp, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Then gently stir in the fish, squid and scallops, and simmer until they are all just cooked through, about 5 minutes. (If using cooked crab meat, stir it in very gently the last minute or so of cooking time.)

Cioppino Sauce:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped sweet basil
1 (28 ounce) can peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
28 ounces water
1 tablespoon clam base without MSG, optional
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon celery salt
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Dash cinnamon
Kosher salt, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic, bay leaves, parsley and basil and cook, stirring, just to warm the garlic—do not let it brown.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, water, clam base, brown sugar, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, black and red peppers, cinnamon and salt to taste. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer uncovered for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

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If you don’t want to make your own you can order it online via his site HERE.

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