Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cioppino for Two

Cioppino is a simple, flavorful seafood stew that comes together quickly without much fuss. Here, I included clams, mussels, shrimp, and scallops—all common ingredients in traditional cioppino. Other classic ingredients include crab, halibut, and cod. Choose your favorites for a delicious, light, and easy dinner. 

Note: Littleneck clams have hard, thick shells that take longer to open than their larger, thinner cousins. If you use littlenecks, allow 8-10 minutes cooking time, and discard any that don’t open.

For seafood soup with a South American twist, see Peruvian Seafood Stew.

Serves 2

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup petite-diced tomatoes with juice (from a 15-oz can)
  • 1 8-oz. bottle clam juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 littleneck clams
  • 6 mussels
  • 6 peeled, deveined medium shrimp
  • 4 medium sea scallops, halved
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Seafood for the Cioppino
  1. Heat a large, wide pot or deep skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, and wine and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook slowly 20 minutes.
Shallot and Garlic Beginning to Cook
Tomato Mixture Added
  1. Increase the heat to medium and add the clams. Cover and cook 4 minutes. Add the mussels and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, 3-4 minutes. (Larger shells may not be open yet.)
  2. Add the shrimp and scallops and cook until just cooked through, 2-3 minutes, depending on size. (Discard any shellfish that do not open.) Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
Clams Beginning to Cook
Mussels Added 
Shrimp and Scallops Added 
To serve, divide the cioppino between 2 shallow bowls and serve hot.

Cioppino for Two

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