In the meantime, I am caught in a cooking conundrum which has resulted in my skittering between my pantry and my freezer repeatedly, shuffling cans and pulling out bags of frozen seafood, searching for recipes, rejecting everything and starting from scratch. I am missing ingredients but I don't want to go out today but I do want to make the cioppino and the beef empanadas. I just made another cup of coffee, and my feeling is now, screw it, I'll cook with what I have. So I will. When my neck and back don't ache as much.
So, I decided to make cioppino in the crockpot. This is inspired by a recipe I found at this site, and while I could not follow it precisely thanks to the poorly stocked market at the St. Cloud Walmart, I think I captured the spirit. Remember, cioppino is all about what the fishermen "chipped in" to the communal cooking pot each day. You can see how flexible the recipe is in terms of seafood additions.
St. Cloud Crockpot Cioppino
Transfer the soup to a crockpot. Cover and cook on low for an hour and a half. Stir several times during the cooking, and after the first hour, taste and re-season if necessary. Stir in the shrimp and seafood medley, cover and cook on low another 15 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and firm. Add the crabmeat and oysters, cover the crockpot and then turn it off. Let it stay covered another 15 minutes, so that the crabmeat and oysters warm through. Serve with garlic bread.