A special treat for friends and family
Cioppino is a quintessential San Francisco dish. Legend has it that the term evolved from the expression "chip in." It was created by Italian and Portuguese fishermen, who "chipped in" seafood from their daily catch and cooked it in a savory tomato-based broth. Today you can find it on many menus in restaurants. It is one of my favorite dishes and I serve it to my friends and family when our Dungeness crab is in season. I have cooked this for years and each time it is a little different. The essential question for me is whether to use red or white wine. Traditionally, it was cooked in red wine which gives the stew a deeper, richer flavor. Lately I've been leaning towards the lighter version using white wine. Whatever you choose, it it will be a delicious meal. In our house, we serve it with garlic bread that my husband prepares, add a salad and you have a special meal for a cold winter evening that you can share with your friends and family.
Use whatever seafood looks best at the store, as the success of your cioppino will depend on the freshness of your selection. If local crab is not available, use King crab legs from Alaska. If you want a stronger tomato taste in your soup, add another tablespoon of tomato paste. Add less red pepper if you want it to be less spicy. I have also served this with fennel and celery added. In my opinion, the mussels and clams are a must. I figure about 2-3 prawns per person, depending on their size. If you don't have a Trader Joe's store nearby, use ½ pound of calamari instead of the seafood mix. You can prepare the stew (without the seafood) ahead of time. Make sure to have extra napkins, little tools to get the crab out of the shell (I use little forks) and bowls to discard the shells. Do not use your best tablecloth, as you will have stains.
These buttery vanilla nut cookies are irresistibly delicious
The city of Vienna has a wonderful coffeehouse culture. Here you will find plates with scrumptious little sweet morsels made with the fruit of the season on a delicate crust topped with Schlag (whipped cream), rich pieces of cake, layers upon layers of nuts and chocolate, cream and caramel. The Kipferl is a crescent-shaped pastry, an ancestor of the croissant going back to the 13th century. The Vanillakipferl in this recipe is a nutty, crunchy, buttery cookie that will melt in your mouth. Shaped into small crescent moons and rolled in powdered sugar (flavored with vanilla), they make an irresistible treat. My friend Inga has baked these cookies for years and shared them with my family. They are so good that I decided to put the recipe on my blog to share with all of you. Let me know if you like them as much as I do.
These cookies have a rich buttery, nutty flavor
I used regular powdered sugar mixed with a store bought package of vanilla sugar for the dusting of the cookies . You can just use powdered sugar or you can make your own vanilla sugar by placing 1and1/2 to 2 cups of sugar in a pint jar. Split a vanilla bean in half lengthwise and with a tip of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds into the jar with the sugar. Add the vanilla pod to the jar and shake well. Let stand for a few days, shaking the jar occasionally. You now have vanilla flavored sugar. Grind the sugar mixture in a food processor to make powdered sugar.
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.