Saturday, July 23, 2016

Elvis and Anita

This month's book Once Upon A Time is not only a revealing look into the love story of Anita Woods and Elvis and his betrayal, but also a book about the man behind Graceland's closed doors.

The King, Elvis, had fast hips and a baby face.  When I was growing up there were times my mama wouldn't let me watch him if he was on T.V.  She said, "the way he moved his hips was vulgar! "  Hmmm, thats not what I was thinking.  He could snarl and pout, but best of all he sure could sing.  I was in love.  I was one of his many fans and still am today. 

I had just graduated from Fairfield High School that summer and I can remember what I was doing that fatal day, August 16, 1977, when the King Of Rock And Roll was pronounced dead.  The world and I were in mourning.   Stone and I still play his songs as we did this night for our gathering.  The King may be gone but his songs continue to live on.

For our dinner I prepared this fabulous fish soup, Cioppino.  For some reason I was craving it.  We had just returned from a 10 day trip to Alaska where we ate fish daily.  Maybe I just hadn't had my fill of it.  I think this Cioppino took care of it as it was a loaded with clams, mussel, shrimp and chunks of halibut.

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons slat
4 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2-3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds halibut, cut into 2" chunks
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium hear.  Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and salute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes.  Stir in the tomato past.  Turn heat to high, constantly stirring, until paste darkens slightly about 3 minutes.  It deepens the flavor.  Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes.  Add the shrimp and fish.  Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer ( discard and clams and mussels that do not open).  Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.  Ladle the soup into bowl and serve.  Serve with crusty bread to soak up the sauce.  
Can prepare the sauce the day ahead.  Reheat sauce and clams, mussels, shrimp and halibut and cook as instructed.

 This is what happens when the conversation turns to politics!