August 8, 2011 in Features

Dinner in Minutes: Seafood makes tasty stew

Linda Gassenheimer, Miami Herald

Seafood and San Francisco are a great combination. The Italian residents there paired the area’s abundant fresh seafood with tomatoes and basil to make cioppino, a light dish perfect for summer dining.

Traditionally, several types of fish and shellfish are used. I’ve used mahi mahi and scallops because they are readily available, but any type of fish can be used; you can create your own combinations.

Serve the cioppino with bruschetta, a bread prepared Italian-style.

Traditionally, the bread is spread with garlic and olive oil and roasted over the coals. I simply toast it under the broiler or in a toaster and top it with a fresh, flavorful tomato, onion and garlic mixture.

This meal contains 537 calories per serving with 18 percent of calories from fat.


6 ounces fresh sea scallops (or mussels, claims, squid, shrimp or lobster)

6 ounces filleted mahi mahi (or other firm fish such as tilapia or snapper)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup sliced sweet onion

1 cup sliced green bell pepper

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 pound red potatoes, washed and sliced (about 2 cups)

2 cups canned whole tomatoes (including juice)

2 cups bottled clam juice

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Wash scallops and fish, and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut fish into pieces about the same size as the scallops.

Heat oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute seafood 2 minutes, turn and cook 1 minute. To test, separate the flesh with the point of a knife; it should be opaque, not translucent. Cook an additional minute if needed. Divide between two soup bowls, and cover to keep warm.

Using the same skillet, saute the onion, green bell pepper and garlic over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add potatoes, tomatoes, clam juice and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook 15 minutes.

Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over fish in soup bowls and sprinkle basil on top.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition per serving: 370 calories (16 percent from fat), 6.5 grams fat (1 gram saturated, 3.5 grams monounsaturated), 90 milligrams cholesterol, 36 grams protein, 43.3 grams carbohydrates, 6.8 grams fiber, 733 milligrams sodium.


1/2 cup diced tomato

1/2 tablespoon diced sweet onion

1 small garlic clove, crushed

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 thick slices crusty, whole-grain bread

Stir together the tomato, onion, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toast bread in toaster or under broiler. Spread the tomato mixture on the bread slices.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition per serving: 167 calories (24 percent from fat), 4.5 grams fat (0.8 gram saturated, 2.1 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 7.4 grams protein, 24.5 grams carbohydrates, 4.4 grams fiber, 220 milligrams sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks. Visit her webpage at or email her at

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