BOUILLABAISSE MADE SIMPLE

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Authors Thoughts

You don't need to get fancy with bouillabaisse. This version of the French fisherman's stew liberates you from having to buy up the entire fish counter—just choose any two or three of the fish and shellfish options listed below.
 BOUILLABAISSE MADE SIMPLE

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 large pinch saffron, soaked in 2 tablespoons orange juice for 10 minutes (optional)
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, in juice
  • 6 cups seafood stock or clam juice
  • Some or all of the following seafood (ask your fish seller for enough to serve 4 to 6 people): halibut, cod, tilapia, or snapper (in large chunks); shell-on large shrimp or lump crabmeat; clams or mussels
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • ROUILLE

  • 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot water
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and fennel and sauté until just brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the saffron (if using), orange zest, tomatoes, and stock or clam juice. Bring to a boil and cook until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add the fish (but not shellfish). Cook for about 2 minutes. Add any clams, mussels, and shrimp. Simmer until the shells just begin to open, about 4 minutes more. Add any crabmeat. Cook until all shells have opened, the shrimp is pink and curled, and the fish flakes easily, about 2 minutes.
  3. Serve from the pot, sprinkled with the parsley and topped with crusty bread and a dollop of rouille.
  4. For the Rouille

    Rich, aromatic rouille is a classic mayonnaise-based spread for the croutons that often accompany French fish soups;. This one is especially delicious. Sprinkle saffron over hot water in a small cup and let stand 1 minute. Blend saffron mixture with remaining ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth.