For this week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe, chosen by Margaret of Tea and Scones, we were supposed to make Ellie's Cioppino, found in her So Easy cookbook. Since Cioppino is a savory fish stew, and I am not a big fan of seafood, I was close to skipping this one. However, I decided to give the recipe a read-through, and after I did I thought I'd go ahead and make it, albeit with a bunch of alterations. I do love shrimp, and there was a 1/2 pound of shrimp in the original version, so I figured I would still be close enough to call it Cioppino!
My rendition went like this: first, I halved the recipe, since I had just enough shrimp to do it that way. Then, I proceeded with the onions, the garlic, and the celery. I added two jalapeno peppers, and left them whole with the bottoms snipped off. I wanted to add a bit of heat without going too nuts, so I allowed the peppers to simmer with the broth and then removed them at the end. I also added about a pound of Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces, so that there would be a bit more substance to the stew. I pureed my diced tomatoes (because that's just how I roll) and used Marsala wine in place of white, because that is what I happened to have open already. For the broth/water, I used chicken broth. I let the whole aromatic thing simmer for quite a while, then added in the shrimp during the last few minutes of cooking.
I know my pictures aren't the most colorful (I blame the lighting in my house now that it gets dark so early), but this dish turned out to be vibrant, full of flavor, and incredibly satisfying. I know I took some liberties, but I was very happy with what I made. I can't wait to see how everybody else in the group liked theirs. For the blogroll, click here. I could not find a link anywhere online for Ellie's recipe, but Margaret has handily posted it on her blog.