Classic Bouillabaisse

Recipe - Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse originally was a stew made by Marseille fishermen using the bony rockfish that they were unable to sell to restaurants or markets. This French seafood stew shows off the catch of the day in a flavourful homemade stock. Herbed rouille (a thick bread-based garlic sauce) spooned onto the soup or spread on toasted baguette slices adds a special finishing touch.

Lewis Acker

Bouillabaisse ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 fennel, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, (white and light green parts) sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. canned strained tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 lb mussels
  • 6 large scallops (about 9 oz)
  • 8 jumbo shrimp
  • 1 lb boneless skinless fish fillets, (such as cod or halibut) cut in 1.5-inch (4 cm) chunks
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

Fish Stock ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 lb bones and trimmings of white fish such as sole, flounder, and whiting, chopped
  • 8 c. water
  • 2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp salt

 

Herbed Rouille:

  • 3 tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 c. chopped baguette
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 hot red pepper, seeded
  • 1 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic

 

PREPARATION

Fish Stock:

Heat oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté onion, carrots, and celery, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add fish bones and trimmings, water, vinegar, peppercorns, and salt and bring to a boil, skimming froth. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids. If using stock right away, skim off and discard any fat. If not, cool stock completely, uncovered, before skimming fat (it will be easier to remove when cool), then chill, covered.

Chef’s note: This stock can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.

Herbed Rouille: In small bowl, drizzle wine over bread; let stand for 5 minutes. In food processor, purée together bread, tarragon, oil, hot red pepper, mayonnaise, garlic and 1/4 cup seafood stock until smooth. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in large heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add fennel and leek. Cook, stirring, until fennel is slightly softened (about 5 minutes).

Stir in orange zest and tomato paste and cook over medium-high heat until paste is fragrant (about 1 minute). Add wine and cook for 1 minute. Add strained tomatoes, saffron, salt, pepper and remaining seafood stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until fennel is softened, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, scrub mussels; discard any that do not close. Add to tomato mixture and cook, covered, over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Add scallops. Cook until tender but firm and mussels are opened, about 3 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Using slotted spoon, divide seafood among bowls.

Add fish, scallops and shrimp to tomato mixture; cook until shrimp are pink and fish flakes easily when tested, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, divide seafood among bowls. Pour broth over top. Top evenly with rouille. Sprinkle with parsley.

Recipe from Lewis Acker, Port Pub