Relaxed Hamptons Cioppino


You notice this picture has a special glow to it? Well I have that glow, too. I decided to give myself a little break while my agent is reviewing my latest revisions. I read more books, saw more friends. I went to a flash Alton Brown signing and gave him a purple wax moustache because it was funny and, really, why not.

I also went to the Hamptons and broke into the relaxed zone. This is no easy task. I am incapable of taking daytime naps. I sit ramrod straight in La-Z-Boys. Swim instructors always told me I'd float better if I just relaxed my muscles. Instead, I gave up and did crafts inside.

But this weekend, I went to farmstands, the gym, the poolside, and had amazing meals under perfect skies with great friends. On Sunday, we made this easy cioppino.

RECIPE: Grab a friend or two and drink a glass of sparkling red wine. Cut shallots, fennel, carrots, and zucchini. In a large pot, saute the shallots and fennel with olive oil until brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and white wine. Add carrots, zucchini, and two bay leaves. Simmer for 15 minutes and season to taste. Turn off the burner and go out for cocktails at the house next door while the flavors meld. Enjoy Greek cheese and wine.

Return home, reheat the aromatic broth. Add shrimp, mussels, squid, cod and scallops. Or whatever seafood mixture you want, it doesn't matter. Let the pot come to a full simmer and let it plateau there for 5 minutes to cook through, though if you leave it longer that's no a big deal either. Serve with fresh parsley from the garden. Eat outside with other easy things you can make without worry.


Also served: garlic bread, caprese salad, roasted potatoes, roasted cauliflower and broccoli