Wow, this was amazing! It definitely tasted like a restaurant-quality dish. I had a dinner party for 4 people--started with a simple lettuce salad with pine nuts and a lemon-basil dressing. Then we had crab cakes. The cioppino was the main course. (Followed by a creme brulee.) I did make a few changes, but as other people have mentioned, the beauty of this recipe is its flexibility! I like my cioppino very tomato-based, so even though I halved the recipe, I put in a 28-oz can of tomatoes, as well as a 14-oz can of tomato sauce. Also, I used a merlot (red wine) instead of white, because I tend to associate tomato-based dished with a red wine accent. I used a combination of fresh and frozen seafood. I got fresh mussels and a few scallops from Whole Foods, but then I supplemented with a bag of frozen shellfish and some frozen raw shrimp from Trader Joe's. I used fresh basil and a mediterranean seafood seasoning from Whole Foods. Served it with fresh grated parm. cheese on top, fresh ground pepper and a big loaf of fresh, crusty bread. My guests kept talking about it the entire evening! I served a nice Chianti with it, which worked well. My husband and I are both poor graduate students, so we can't afford to make this very often, but we both agreed it was completely worth the price!
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Wow, this was amazing! It definitely tasted like a restaurant-quality dish. I had a dinner...