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Articles

Bouillabaisse — Provençale Fish Stew

Many Ngom

 

In this version, Chef shortens the cooking process and serves everything in one bowl. Prepare the stock a few days beforehand to save time.

 
 

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups fish stock (see accompanying recipe)
  • 8 pieces (2.5oz/70g each) fresh seasonal fish
  • 8 oz (225g) mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
  • 8 oz (225g) clams, cleaned
  • 1 cup (8oz) potatoes, sliced and boiled
  • 8 fresh large prawns, peeled, deveined and tails left on
  • 8 fresh large bay scallops
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup (2 oz) fresh chives, parsley and basil, chopped

Method:

  1. Cube the  fish.
  2. Bring the stock to boil in a large pot on high he
  3. Add fish, mussels, and clams; let the soup return to boil.
  4. Add potatoes, prawns, and scallops. After 2 minutes, once prawns have turned pink, turn off heat.
  5. Discard any mussels or clams that have not opened.
  6. Drizzle oil over the top and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
  7. Serve in individual bowls (makes 4 servings).

Tips:

  • Just before savouring this bouillabaisse, you can add rouille, cheese, and crostini directly into the soup instead of serving them on the side, letting the cheese melt into the broth.
  • Buy the freshest possible mussels and clams from your local seafood market, choosing tightly closed ones, and discarding any that are open or broken.
  • Fresh mussels and clams must be stored in the refrigerator and cooked the same day of purchase.
  • You can use a variety of seasonal fish, such as halibut, salmon, lingcod, sablefish, or a combination.

Fish Stock

This recipe requires time and attention to make. Chef serves it as a starter or as stock for Bouillabaisse. Well-prepared, the soup’s aroma will remind you of the Mediterranean Sea.

You will need a large, 2½-gallon (10-L) stockpot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 5 lb (2¼ kg) red snapper, cut into 2-in (5-cm) slices
  • 3½ lb (1½ kg) white fish scraps (including bones)
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup whole garlic cloves
  • 1 can (13½-oz/398-ml) tomato paste
  • 2½ gal (10 L) water
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 batch freshly made crostini
  • ½ cup Gruyère cheese grated (for garnish)
  • Rouille* (for garnish)

Method:

  1.  Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on high flame in a large frying pan. Add ¼ of the red snapper and fish scraps and sear for 5–8 minutes on each side, until browned.
  2. Place browned fish in stockpot. Repeat until all fish has been seared.
  3. Sauté fennel, onions, and garlic on medium high heat for 5 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Add tomato paste, stir, and continue sauteing for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add sautéd vegetables to stockpot along with water, salt and saffron. Bring to boil on high heat.
  6. Reduce heat. Simmer for about 2½ hours, until fish falls off bones and becomes part of the soup.
  7. Ladle about 4 cups of soup into food processor and purée to thicken (be careful when processing hot liquids).
  8. Strain puréed fish stock in sieve. Press as much pulp and liquid through as possible. Sieved stock should be a burnt orange color.
  9. Repeat until all soup is puréed and strained.
  10. Add salt if necessary.
  11. Prepare crostini (see accompanying recipe).
  12. Reheat strained soup for serving.
  13. Serve with crostini. Garnish with grated cheese and a dollop of rouille.  

Makes 15 servings.

Tips:

  • Make crostini 10 minutes before serving fish soup. (See accompanying recipe).
  • Rouille is a sauce made with olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic, saffron, and chili peppers, using this fish stock as a base.
  • You can freeze leftover stock for up to 2 months.

Crostini

Crostini, Italy’s “little toasts,” are thin slices of baguette drizzled with olive oil and served toasted and warm. Sometimes topped with finely diced or sliced savory cheeses, vegetables, meat, or seafood, or served plain with soups, they complement Bouillabaisse, fish soup, fennel and oven-dried tomato compote, even chickpea spread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette sliced ¼ in (5 mm) thick
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  2. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet.
  3. Brush each slice with oil.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 7–10 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool.