San Francisco Cioppino

2 TBSP olive oil

1 large onion – chopped

1 medium green pepper – chopped

1 garlic clove – minced

1 28oz can tomatoes

½ cup white table wine

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 TBSP salt

¼ tsp basil

1-1/2 pounds dungeness crab

1-1/2 pounds clams (little neck – about two dozen)

1-1/2 pounds striped bass fillets, cut into serving size pieces

1 pound shelled deveined shrimp

About 45 minutes before serving; in hot oil, cook onion, pepper and garlic till tender (about 5 minutes) stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and their liquid, wine, parsley, salt and basil; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Increase heat to med-high, add crab and clams, cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fillet pieces and shrimp and cook 5 more minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and shrimp is pink.

(Note: Double first nine ingredients for extra sauce – good with french bread.)


Oxtail Stew from



1 large oxtail cut into about 9 joints (this should provide 3 substantial, 3 medium and 3 small joints)

1 large white onion, thickly sliced

60ml cooking oil

3 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into thick rounds

1 stick of celery, roughly chopped

3 whole cloves (or about a teaspoon of ground cloves)

juice of one lemon (I think this was too much– too acidic)

a dash of Worcestershire sauce (I think I used too much)

30ml tomato paste (I think I used too much)

2 cups of beef stock or water

salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste

45ml brandy


In a large heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat about 2/3 of the the oil then brown meat quickly over high heat together with the onion.  On another plate, start warming the rest of the oil in a large stew pot.  I started with the smaller pieces of meat and transfered them to a large stew pot when they were browned.  Add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic, cloves, lemon juice, tomato paste, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Add enough stock (or water) barely to cover the meat.  If you are using stock, you may want to go easy on the salt, but if you are using water the salt will be necessary.

Allow the oxtail to simmer with the lid on over low heat for about four hours.  By this time the liquid will have reduced but not by a great deal.  Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and if possible, put the whole pot in the fridge overnight.  The following day (or even the day after that), remove the pot from the fridge for about an hour to bring it towards room temperature.  Stir in the brandy and put back on the stove at low heat to bring it to the boil.  Allow to simmer for as long as you can – I gave mine another 3 and a half hours!  If desired, you can also add some potatoes about an hour before you want to serve, to make this a complete one-pot meal.  But I chose to leave out the potatoes and served mine on brown rice with steamed broccoli on the side. I also thickened the gravy slightly with thickening granules (less tricky than cornflour!), but that’s a matter of personal preference.