Every country with access to the sea has a dish that brings together its finest local shellfish. This is Coco’s, a melange of Chilean clams, shrimp, and even eel steak cooked with tomatoes, garlic, onion, and a touch of hot pepper and oregano. Hot crusty bread is the only necessary accompaniment. Use a combination of your local fresh shellfish to create your own regional version. A tip: stick a toothpick in the hot pepper before you put it in the skillet and it will be easy to remove at the end.
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Tomatoes - 2, roughly chopped
- Onion - 1 large, chopped
- Red Bell Peppers - 2, seeded, deribbed, and julienned
- Garlic Cloves - 2, smashed flat
- Chile de arbol - 1/2 (alt. cayenne, or jalapeno pepper) seeded
- Oregano Sprigs - 3
- Clams - 24
- Mussels - 12
- Conger eel steaks - 4
- Lemon - 1/2
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Razor clams - 12
- Shrimp or Prawns - 8, jumbo
- Scallops - 6
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Fish stock - 1 cup (see Basics; alt. bottled clam juice)
- Fresh Crab Meat - 1 pound, picked over for shell
- Parsley Sprigs - 4
Place a very large skillet over medium-high heat and warm the olive oil. Add the tomato, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and chile de arbol and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Add the whole sprigs of oregano and the clams. As the shellfish simmer, season the eel steaks with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add to the simmering skillet. Remove the meat from the razor clams and pound thin with a mallet or other heavy object. Rinse and add to the skillet. Add the shrimp, scallops, wine, and fish stock. Cover the pan with foil, crimping the edges, and simmer for 15 minutes; when the clams open, the dish is ready. Remove the chile de arbol.
To serve: Ladle a selection of the shellfish into each of four large soup bowls. Pour the broth over the shellfish. Top each with a large scoop of crab meat and a sprig of parsley.