I was really thrilled to see a nice article on Croatian food, customs and recipes ("Croatian San Pedro," Oct. 27). It did bring some personal memories that I'm willing to share. Many years ago my father-in-law, Alexander Cvitanovich, was chef at Cigo's restaurant in San Pedro. He was an excellent cook and won the first prize in the cioppino contest in 1972. I am sure that had he been alive, he would have made it in the Los Angeles Times today.
I am sure your readers would appreciate his recipe:
In a wide pot, saute 1 chopped onion and 3 cloves of garlic in olive oil. Add 1 pound peeled, chopped tomatoes and saute an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, salt, pepper and parsley (to taste). Lay 2 pounds fish filets, 4 crab claws, 6 large shrimp and 6 clams in their shells on top of the tomato mixture. Add a small amount of clam juice (or fish stock), shake the pot, and cook on high heat for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes. Dobar Tek! ("Bon appetit" in Croatian).