This is my adaptation of the well known San Francisco style Seafood Stew but using local NC seafood.

4 cloves minced garlic
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 medium onions - finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 green bell peppers
1 1/2 cups dry red wine (or white if you prefer)
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes - chopped, reserve liquid
1 bottle clam juice
1 cup fish broth from bullion
6 live blue crab - cleaned and halved
18 small clams
1 pound grouper fillet
1 pound shrimp - shelled and deveined
3/4 pound scallops
1/4 cup parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Cook garlic, fennel, onions, bay leaf, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes with salt and pepper in oil in an 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, and broth and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add crab pieces and clams to stew and simmer, covered, until clams just open, 5 to 10 minutes, checking every minute after 5 minutes and transferring opened clams to a bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon. (Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.) Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot and gently stir in parsley and basil.

Serve cioppino immediately in large soup bowls.

The stew without seafood can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, uncovered, then chill, covered. Bring to a simmer before adding seafood.