Pop’s Famous Recipes: San Francisco Firehouse Favorites!

The Bay's Famous Firehouse Recipes!

My Grandpa Art (Pop) was a firefighter in San Francisco in the Airport Rescue Company, No.3. If there was one thing he loved just as much as firefighting, it was cooking. Pop’s recipes were legendary. Every Christmas, my family waited all day to sit around the dinner table, wrap a bib over our nice blouses, and dine on his Cioppino. This famous Cioppino was said to lure distinguished hotel chef’s with midnight visits to the firehouse to decipher the secrets of his recipe. In 1965, a book called San Francisco Firehouse Favorites, published his famous Cioppino, along with his famous Oil & Vinegar dressing!

Oil & Vinegar Dressing Piquant

(Pop’s Dressing)

6 tablespoons each of olive oil, red wine vinegar and ketchup

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese

1/8 teaspoon of Paprika

About 3 drops of Worcesterhire sauce

1 clove of garlic, crushed

Shake or beat together all ingredients. let stand at least 1 hour. Remove garlic, and shake or beat again before using. Makes about 1 cup dressing. Wonderful on Sourdough bread as well!

Pop's Famous Cioppino.


2 Large onions, chopped

5 stalks of celery, very thinned sliced

4 medium-sized carrots, very thinly sliced

1 cup of chopped parsley

About 6 tablespoons of olive oil

1 large clove of garlic, minced or mashed

5 cans (8 oz. each) of tomato sauce

2 cups of water

1/8 teaspoon each of crumble dried thyme, rosemary and sage

3 live crabs, washed and cracked

3 pounds medium-sized prawns

About 2 pounds of fillet of cod (or other white fish)

1/3 cup of dry white wine

Salt and Pepper

Additional chopped fresh parsley

In a large kettle, saute onions, celery, carrots, and parsley in olive oil until onions are limp. Add garlic, tomato sauce, water, thyme, rosemary, and sage; cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until carrots and celery are tender. Add crab; top with cockles. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add prawns; top with cod. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes more. (Do not stir, but gently shake pot occasionally.) Add wine, season sauce if necessary, and simmer 5 minutes more. Ladle into large serving bowls. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 6 generous servings.

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