Friends, whatever magic you need to make, look no further than this seafood stew. Loosely based on cioppino, a San Francisco specialty that's based on an Italian soup, this dish is hearty, healthy and versatile. You can carefully curate the ingredients for a special occasion, or throw it together before a weeknight baseball practice. Make it once, and you'll realize that the possibilities, and varieties, are infinite.
Start by procuring a pound and a half of seafood. My family enjoys a thrifty trio of shrimp, bay scallops and cod; feel free to experiment with clams, salmon or any other sea-yummies that your people enjoy. The fresher the fish, the tastier the stew, so if you have access to just-caught fish, great. If frozen items are the best you can do, that’s great, too. I’m particularly fond of frozen shrimp, which are inexpensive, full of lean protein, and easy to keep on hand. In all of my test recipes, the only fish that floundered was thawed tilapia; it tasted just dandy but didn’t hold its shape while simmering.