While working as a private chef on Long Island, I used to make my clients a decadent cioppino with lobsters, shrimp, red snapper and wild bass. Once back home in my own kitchen, I found that cioppino to be a little too pricey. I simplified the recipe by instead using littleneck clams and sandshark, also known as dogfish, which is a delicious and very inexpensive alternative to any firm-fleshed fish. Ask your fishmonger for it! —cratecooking
unsalted butter, divided
shallots, sliced into thin rings
cloves garlic, minced
sandshark or dogfish, cut into 8 pieces
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups
homemade fish or lobster stock, or bottled clam juice
Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the shallot rings and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Lightly season the sandshark pieces with salt and pepper, remembering that the stock and clams will add their naturally salty brine to the dish. Add to the pot and sear on each side until lightly golden, turning once. You don't to move the fish too much as it will break up easily. Once golden, remove fish to a shallow bowl and set aside.
Deglaze the pot with the white wine and simmer over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, until most of the wine has evaporated. Add the stock, tomato puree, hot sauce, bay leaf, and thyme and bring to a boil. Add the littleneck clams, return the liquid to a boil and cover until the clams are cooked and open, discarding any that have not opened. Remove the clams with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl with the sandshark.
Continue to cook the sauce over medium-high heat until it has reduced and slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if using) to taste. Return the sandshark and clams to the sauce and sprinkle with parsley.