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Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse is the French name for a seafood stew- sounds fancier when you call it Bouillabaisse though! It’s said to be from Marseille and is the ideal warm-me-up dish.

Yield: 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Pinch hot pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup Pernod or Dry Vermouth
  • 6 cups clam juice or fish stock
  • One 19-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 bay leave
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 healthy pinches of saffron
  • 2-inch peel of orange zest
  • Eight 2-ounces pieces of white fish, such as a snapper  
  • 16 large shrimp, peeled
  • 16 mussels, washed
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chervil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 baguettes, sliced for serving

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onion, carrot and fennel and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes. Stir. Cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pot with white wine and Pernod. Let reduce for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme and saffron and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Add orange zest. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Just want the flavours to start to marry.
  3. Add fish and shrimp to pot. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add mussels and continue to cook until fish and seafood just cooked through, and mussels have opened, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chopped chervil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with baguette slices.