Seacoast Cioppino

Food Recipes by Lisë Stern/Photo: Tony Scarpetta / February, 2020

This is one of Executive Chef Suzi Maitland’s favorite dishes at The Paddle Inn, a savory tomato broth loaded with seafood. Optional chorizo gives it a spicy kick.

Adapted from The Paddle Inn

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Broth and Vegetables
2 tablespoons canola oil, or as needed
2 celery ribs, diced
1 pound Spanish onion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 ounces Pernod
¼ cup white wine
1 quart clam juice
2 (12-ounce) cans tomatoes in juice
2 cups vegetable broth
2 pounds red bliss potatoes, large diced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2 tablespoons canola oil, or as needed
12 ounces chorizo, crumbled, optional
1½ pounds shrimp
2 pounds local white fish, cut into small filets
1½ pounds calamari, tubes and tentacles
corn kernels from 6 ears corn
18 to 24 littleneck clams
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 scallions, chopped
baguette slices for serving

1. Prepare the broth and vegetables. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, onions, and garlic and cook until translucent. Carefully add Pernod and wine and deglaze pot. Watch out for flames from the alcohol.
2. Stir in clam juice, tomatoes, broth, and potatoes. Add bay leaves, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.
3. Prepare the cioppino. In a second large pot, heat the oil. If using, add the chorizo and brown.
4. Sear shrimp and fish in the pot, on both sides, then lightly stir in calamari and corn.
5. Pour in the broth and vegetables and place the clams on top. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until clams open, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. To serve, ladle into big bowls, evenly dividing the seafood. Top each bowl with chopped scallions and serve with thick slices of baguette for soaking up the sauce.