Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Bouillabaisse

We have a good supply of homemade seafood stock (made from crab, lobster, and fish bones left over from other meals) and have been mostly using it in dishes such as seafood risotto, seafood soup, or lobster corn chowder.  It's time to try a bouillabaisse, the Proven├žal fish soup from the south of France, in particular, the port of Marseille.

We start by making croutons, cutting thick slices of rustic bread, brushing them liberally with olive oil, and baking them on a sheet at 400°F (200°C) until crisp and golden brown,  about10 minutes, then rubbing them with garlic cloves and setting them aside.

We make a rouille that will go on the croutons by adding 1/2 cup of finely minced roasted, peeled, and seeded red bell pepper, two cloves of finely minced garlic, mayonnaise, and cayenne pepper.

Rouille

Then, the fish.  We go to the market and pick an assortment of whatever looks good, in this case, 1/2-1 pound (1/4 - 1/2 kg.) of mussels, oysters, halibut, shrimp, sea bass, grouper, catfish, and squid, all cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) or so chunks.

Assorted fish

Next, we warm a thick layer of olive oil in Dutch oven and cook chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrot, potato, fennel, and saffron until soft.  We then add several cups of our homemade fish stock and a large can of hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking until thick like a stew.

Ingredients

Cooking

We add the fish in sequence, simmering the hard fish for 5 minutes, adding the soft fish and clams to simmer for another 5 minutes, then the squid and a final 5 minutes.

With fish

To finish off the dish, we add several tablespoons of pastis, reserving more to drizzle on the dish as we serve it 

Just a splash

We ladle the bouillabaisse into warmed soup dishes and serve with croutons and rouille and a splash of pastis.

Dinner is served

And, oddly enough, with all that fish, there are leftovers:  some for us and some for friends and family!

Leftovers


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