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Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse
Serves 6, Easy to Moderate Difficulty

You may use any firm white fish for this recipe, but be sure to avoid oily fish like salmon and mackerel. Any shellfish you like will work well. We were extravagant with the lobster, but it does make the dish very special. Pernod and Pastis should be available at your local liquor store.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1/4 cup anise flavored liqueur (such as Pernod or Pastis)
6 cups bottled clam juice
3 cups water
1 lb. red creamer potatoes, peeled & halved
2 lb. mixed fish fillets (monk fish, turbot, red snapper, haddock or cod)
6 small lobster tails (or shrimp or crab claws)
18 mussels, scrubbed clean

In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute gently while stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, saffron, liqueur, clam juice and water. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until tender.

Cut the fish fillets into 2 inch pieces and add to the broth. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until cooked through. Add the lobster tails (or any shellfish you are using) to the pot and simmer 4 to 5 more minutes. Add the mussels last and cook until they open. Discard any mussels that do not open. Check for seasoning and serve immediately, dividing the seafood equally between the 6 bowls. Place a toasted bread round in each bowl and top with 1 tablespoon rouille. Pass additional rouille at the table and be sure to place shell crackers on on the table if you are using lobster tails.

Toasted Bread Rounds

6 (1/2 inch thick) baguette slices
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Brush the bread with the olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bread is toasted.

Rouille

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tblsp bouillabaisse broth
1/2 tsp saffron broth
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
pinch cayenne
salt to taste

Using a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, broth and saffron. Grind to a paste, then transfer to a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne and salt. Stir to combine and check for seasoning. Cover and refrigerate until service. Rouille is best eaten the same day it is made or flavors become very strong.



Culinary Thymes features easy-to-follow, seasonal recipes, wine recommendations and entertaining tips for the home cook and foodie.


Complementary Wines: Albarino, Bordeaux, Chablis, Viognier

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