En español | The best New Year's Eve I've ever had was in 2005, the year my son Ryder was born. My wife had to have a cesarean section, and I remember the nurse coming to us and saying, "Would you like him to be a New Year's Eve baby or a New Year's Day baby?" We chose New Year's Eve, and he's every bit the boy you'd expect to have on a day like that. Ryder is nonstop. He likes to stay up late. He has posses of buddies. He's a real party kid. He is very much my child.
Every year when we're home in Santa Rosa, Calif., we have a New Year's Eve party. Everyone brings their RVs and trailers, and they park in the field behind our house. The kids play, and we build a bonfire and cook a big meal. I'll usually make a Dungeness crab stew — kind of like an Italian bouillabaisse with red wine and the fresh crab. I'll slow-roast a couple of prime ribs for a few hours, too, and serve that with the crab stew and sourdough bread and a salad. It turns into cooking all day and part of the night.
Then the kids go to bed, and we stay up and celebrate the new year. I'm not the kind of guy who wants to go to a big party in the city. The fun all revolves around my kids and my family.
Nor Cal Cioppino (Seafood Stew)
- 4 cups diced yellow onions
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup minced garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 6 cups tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 ounce Sambuca liqueur
- 4 pounds Dungeness crab, cleaned, cooked and broken into 4 pieces
- 2 pounds littleneck clams, cleaned and scrubbed
- 2 pounds firm white fish, like cod or halibut, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 pounds shrimp, shells on, deveined
- 1 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions, fennel, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil until lightly browned. Add the tomato paste, wine, tomato sauce, clam and lemon juices, water, bay leaves, red chili flakes, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and liqueur to the vegetables and simmer for 1 hour. Add the crab and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the clams and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cod or halibut and cook 4 to 5 minutes more. Do not stir. To finish, add the shrimp; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until they turn pink. Stir in the parsley and serve.
Nutrients per serving: 685 calories, 91g protein, 48g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 10g fat, 320mg cholesterol, 2,896mg sodium
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