Bouillabaisse

(6 Servings)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

This recipe originates in the french port city of Marseilles (the things you learn in food trivia if you are food nerds like me!). Originally made with fish that wouldn’t sell and left overs, this dish has evolved over time and has different variations including more high end versions with ingredients like lobster, langoustine and scallops.

If you are looking for Bouillabaisse in NYC, I highly recommend La Mirabelle on the Upper West Side. This restaurant run by a french family makes the best Bouillabaisse i have had in NYC. They don’t always have it on the menu , so call in advance and ask.

Chloe’s sister was visiting us from France a couple of weeks back and she mentioned that she had never tried Bouillabaisse (can you believe that?!). I decided she had to try it. Here is my version.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound shrimp with shell on (remove shells and use for stock)
  • 6 cubs water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Orange or blood orange peel
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 pound salmon cut in one inch cubes
  • 12 no. manila clams
  • 1 pound fresh cod cut in one inch cubes
  • 1 medium fennel bulb (thinly sliced)
  • 1 leek (White part thinly sliced)
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 4 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup cooking white wine
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Baguette slices toasted

Method:

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a vessel. Add the shrimp shells, peppercorns, orange peel and bay leaves and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the stock simmers, heat olive oil (3 tablespoon) in a pot. Add in the onion, garlic, ginger and leek and sautee for a couple minutes. Add in about 1/2 tsp. salt and let the onion and leek sweat for another 2 minutes. Now add in the fennel and cook till tender (about 15-20 minutes).

Add the tomatoes and wine and turn up the heat till the wine is reduced to about half. Now strain the stock and add about half to the mixture and bring to a boil.

Turn off the heat and puree the mixture. Pass the mixture through a medium sized sieve to get a smooth base. Bring back to the pot. Add in the remaining stock, thyme, marjoram, saffron and paprika and bring to a slow boil.

Now its time to add in the seafood. We need to time the addition of the seafood so that it doesn’t get overcooked. Add in the clams first. About 3 minutes later add the shrimp and about 2 minutes after that add the fish. Continue to boil for another 2 minutes or until clams open up and remove from heat.

Serve with toasted baguette slices!

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