In This Menu:
- James’ Crab Dip a la the “Temp”
- Raspberries with Cream and Sugar
I first heard of this dish (the French version is called Bouillabaisse) when I was managing an excellent restaurant in Tulsa called LaCuisine. Basically, this is a fish soup or stew depending on how thick you make it. At LaCuisine we used to serve it with a thick piece of toasted French bread covered with red pepper aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and floated the bread on top. I liked the addition of the bread because it thickened the sauce which then made me think about serving the dish over a bed of pasta. I’m sure the “true” Italians would skin me alive for doing so, but I really like the way the angel’s hair soaks up the broth and gives one a feeling of having had a meal rather than a bowl of soup.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon gremolata*
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
- 1 (12-ounce) can whole tomatoes
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups fish stock**
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ pound cherrystone clams, scrubbed
- ½ pound sea scallops
- ½ pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound tilapia or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked
- Parmesan cheese
*Gremolata is simply a mixture of very finely minced lemon zest, parsley, and garlic. The Italians use it liberally boosting up the flavor of any dish they are making. Most Cioppino recipes call for garlic alone. I added the gremolata because the parsley and lemon zest give you a nice flavor “pop”. To make, remove the zest from one lemon using a zester, knife, or grater. Peel 3 garlic cloves. Pick 3 or 4 big sprigs of parsley from a bunch. Chop the three ingredients together on a cutting board until very fine.
**A light chicken broth can be substituted
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, tomatoes, and salt and sautè until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the gremolata, pesto and sun-dried tomato paste. Crush the tomatoes then add them 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 pepper.
Divide pasta into 4 bowls and ladle the soup over the pasta into bowls. Top with Parmesan and a sprinkle of gremolata and serve.
My wife’s parents own a condo in Southwest Florida on a beautiful and quaint island. There is a restaurant that has been there since the 1930s called the Temptation or the “Temp” as the locals call it. The first time I went to the Temp, I ordered the hot crab dip, which in turn started a tradition of visiting the Temp every time we go to Florida and it always includes an order of their famous crab dip! I have tried to recreate the dip, and mine is good, but it seems like I’m still missing something. I think it is the salty air and the view of the sandy beaches!
- 12 oz. crab meat from King Crab legs
- ½ cup minced onion
- ½ cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise
- ½ cup Daisy sour cream
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 tablespoons chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown mustard
- 1 heaping tablespoon horseradish
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Bread crumbs
Mix the first 8 ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Pour dip into an oven proof, shallow, baking dish. Lightly sprinkle top with some bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan. Bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly brown on top and bubbling. Serve with toast points.
My grandmother had a house on Fremont Avenue in the middle of Springfield and I used to love to go there for the weekend. One thing I could count on in the summer was fresh raspberries. She had a big vine in her backyard and we would pick them in the morning, then she would wash them and serve in china bowls with sugar and cream. This maybe kind of old school, but heavenly!
- 1 pint of fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup of half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Split raspberries between two small bowls or glasses and pour some cream and sugar on top of each one. If desired, garnish with fresh mint.