Eddy’s Kitchen: Bouillabaisse
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cook time: 45 minutes
The first time I ever ate Bouillabaisse I couldn’t pronounce it. I was a student at TAMU. Several professors had invited me to join them at a fish camp in Matagorda Texas, and I’m not sure they could pronounce Boullabaisse either. But we can now! (It’s boo ya base or boo ya baze.)
Once you taste this delicious French fish stew, you’ll be shouting boo ya base too! Bouillabaisse was originally concocted by French fishermen from Marseilles who sold their highest quality fish and were left to figure out how to make the rougher, less popular species edible. With bouillabaisse they figured it out!
Today we can used more refined ingredients and get as fancy as we want, but I encourage you to mix, match and try most anything. I spiced up this recipe a bit with lobster tail, local gulf shrimp and, of course, the fish I’d just caught. Try this wonderful recipe for your fish and I’ll bet you’ll thank the French for this contribution to our dining pleasure.
6 c water for making stock (we don’t have to make this hard, these days fish stock is available at many stores)
1 c dry white wine
1/2 lb shrimp
1/2 lb small clams
1/2 lb bay mussels w beards removed
1 lobster tail
1 lb fish
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh marjoram
4 cloves garlic sliced
1 small onion coarsely chopped
2 small fennel bulbs, fronds removed and thinly sliced (save a few fronds for a garnish at serving)
1 leek white part only, thinly sliced
4 tomatoes, skinned, diced and core removed
10 black peppercorns
Peel from one orange
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- Bring the water to a boil in a pan and place the lobster tail in and cook for two minutes, no longer. Remove the tail and let it cool enough to be able to handle it. Use shears or a cleaver and cut the tail into chunks.
- Peel the shrimp and save the shells. Put them in the water you boiled the lobster tail in and turn down to a slow boil. Add orange peel, bay leaf, peppercorns and boil for 15-30 minutes. Reduce to a simmer.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an 8- to 12-quart pot and add the leek, fennel bulb and onion. I find a little salt and pepper seems to help when sautéing vegetables. Don’t overcook. For this dish you want your vegetables just starting to turn brown.
- Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes
- Add the diced tomatoes and wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by about half.
- Strain the shrimp stock into a big pot and add herbs, marjoram, thyme, saffron and cayenne pepper.
- Now comes the meat! Add the fish. After two minutes, add the chunks of lobster tail and the mussels and clams. Two minutes later, add the shrimp. Cook for two more minutes and remove from heat. Your Bouillabaisse is ready to serve!
- Garnish with a few of the fronds reserved from the fennel and serve.
YouTube link, Eddy’s Kitchen Episode 5 – Bouillabaisse
http://<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/lZKnMREtHn8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>