Mother’s Day

Most seafoods should be simply threatened with heat and then celebrated with joy.

If it’s Mother’s Day it must be seafood and today calls for the best loaded cioppino todays contents, clams mussels, crab, shrimp, and a nice piece of grouper in a tasty saucy broth so worthy of dunking a good bread into and so perfect for a rainy day mom’s dinner.

I’m not a big fan of eating out on holidays most places serve a prefixed menu or big buffet fare to feed the masses. If I make Mother’s Day dinner I get exactly what I want and I have plenty of handy shortcuts including prepped ingredients from the store and the Instant Pot that cooks in a flash without constant attention of a simmering pot…

Many moons ago I found my favorite go to recipe Michael Mina’s mother in-laws recipe (Judith) and since that time a flood of chefs have joined in with their recipes, hints, and regional versions as for me I use the guidelines of Judith’s recipe and move on. Giada has a good recipe that is not so difficult or time consuming and I have borrowed ingredient ideas mainly the bay leaf and basil for my version today.

I did the basic sauced/broth in the Instant pot (enough for two dinners or 6 people) and I froze part of the sauce, then I steamed open the clams and sautéed the shrimp, finally adding all of the seafood to the pot. Serve hot…

Add a nice salad of choice, good crusty bread and that night we opened a bottle of a new favorite wine 1000 Stories Cab Sav aged in bourbon barrels.

Basic notes from Giada’s IP version…

  1. Set the instant pot to the saute function. Add the olive oil, fennel and onion to the pot and stir. Cook stirring often for about 5 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to soften. Season with the salt and stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Deglaze with the wine. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, bay leaf and pepper flakes. Secure the lid on the instant pot and cook for 20 minutes under high pressure.
  2. Allow the instant pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure. Stir in the halibut, shrimp and clams and replace the lid. Cook under high pressure for 3 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Remove and discard the bay leaf and any unopened clams. Serve with a sprinkle of basil, drizzle of olive oil and crusty bread to soak up the broth if desired.

  1. Link to Judith’s recipe:
  2. Link to Giada’s recipe:


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