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The Sea of Cortez

Years ago, I was on a solo dive trip in the Sea of Cortez when one of the dive masters told me I swam like a mermaid. “It’s like you were born in the sea,” he said …

Sea of Cortez

… and I remember looking out at the rocks and thinking to myself, that if indeed I were a mermaid, “this is where I would want to live”—hence, the photo above. Oddly, when I was very young, I used to think the slight amount of webbing between my fingers and toes meant that I was a direct descendant of the ancient lost city of Atlantis, so much so that I became obsessed with all things ocean-related … the Bermuda Triangle, Neptune and Poseidon … Island of the Blue Dolphin became my favorite book, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea my favorite movie, crab my favorite food, blue my favorite color and mermaids, my secret obsession.  Continue reading “The Sea of Cortez”

The Best Cioppino in the World

Dinner at The Midwest Mermaid’s house generally consists of something that used to call the oceans — or the rivers — home. No, I’m not a pescatarian, I do eat meat … just not a lot of it. I’ve toyed with the idea of becoming a pescatarian but I live in Indianapolis and just can’t resist a St. Elmo steak every now and then.

One of my favorite dishes is Cioppino … or really any rendition of fish stew — especially if it has a little kick to it. Years ago I was in Vegas and at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House … I don’t know if it’s still on the menu, but at the time they were serving a devilishly delightful version that literally knocked my socks off. Truth be known, I remember it so well that I can even tell you what I was wearing that night … a Tiffany-blue cocktail sundress that I happen to still own.

Ever since that fatefully delicious night, I’ve been recreating the dish at home, serving it with crusty bread and wine. I can’t give you a recipe … but I can tell you I use muscles, clams, shrimp, halibut or cod, calamari … red pepper flakes, a chunky tomato puree, lots of garlic, fresh herbs and good fish stock. And my version, pictured above, is a combination of both Emeril’s and Giada De Laurentiis’

So take a look at both and experiment … it’s an easy dish to make … yes, there are lots of ingredients, but once it gets put together there’s nothing to it — and it’s impressive when dished up … even Poseidon likes it 😉

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