This is the second installment for Fish Friday Foodies; since February’s theme is soup, I decided to give you an easy recipe version of the classic Bouillabaisse. And since there are no real “rules” (may favorite kind of dish), you can easily make this recipe your own with the inclusion of fish you like, or which are readily available where you live.
Bouillabaisse is a soup originating in Marseille, a port city in France. While bouillabaisse is similar to Cioppino in that it originally contained a mixture of fishes from the catch of the day, the flavors are all Provençal (leeks, fennel and fennel fronds, saffron, Pernod, bay leaves and garlic).
The way I have made this recipe easy is to eliminate the use of a fresh seafood stock. While I have a recipe for fresh seafood stock here, I recently found Kitchen Basics by McCormick has a new product out in their stock line: Seafood Stock. After reviewing the ingredients, I decided to give it a try. I am happy I did, because it is very good.
So, with that time-consuming step out-of-the-way, all there is to this recipe for bouillabaisse is to sauté some leeks and fennel in olive oil; to that are added diced tomatoes (canned works fine), garlic, bay leaves, fennel, saffron, Pernod, the stock, salt and ground black pepper.
Once that simmers for about 20 minutes, the solids are strained out and small potatoes are added. After they have a chance to cook until fork tender, you start adding in the fish.
I used littleneck clams, monkfish, cod, mussels and langostino, in that order. I served the bouillabaisse the way Julia Child does, with the fish and potatoes removed to a large platter and the broth in a separate turrine. Since bouillabaisse is also traditionally served with rouille (a mixture of bread crumbs, garlic, saffron, cayenne pepper and saffron) spread on a piece of toasted baguette and floated in the broth, I have also given you the recipe for the rouille.
This was just so fantastic! And easy. And quick!
I hope you try it!
p.s.: Please check out the other February Fish Friday Foodies submissions below!
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ cups sliced leeks, washed and drained
- 1 fennel bulb (fronds reserved) cored and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 pinches of saffron threads
- 2 tablespoons Pernod (an anise flavored liqueur)
- 4 cups store-bought fish stock (1 32 ounce box)
- 2 cups water
- ¾ pound new potatoes (I used small tri-color potatoes)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1 pound monkfish, cut into 1½-inch pieces
- ½ pound cod filet cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 2 dozen mussels, bearded
- ½ pound langostino tails (removed from shell)
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil.
- Add the leeks and fennel and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, saffron and Pernod and bring to a boil.
- Add the fish stock, cover and bring to a simmer.
- Cook over low heat about 20 minutes.
- Using a colander inserted in a large stockpot, pour the contents of the skillet into the colander and discard the solids.
- Return the stockpot to the stove over medium heat and add the potatoes.
- Simmer until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Begin adding the fish, the clams first and simmer until they being to open.
- Add the monkfish and cod fillets and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the mussels and simmer for a couple of minutes until they begin to open.
- Add the langostino and simmer for about 2-3 more minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish and potatoes to a platter.
- Garnish with reserved fennel fronds.
- Pour the broth into a turrine.
- Serve with toasted baguette slices and rouille.
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1½ cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (preferably from a baguette, crust removed)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 pinch of saffron
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 4-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Place the first six ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbled.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the consistency of the mixture is a thick paste.