How to make Bouillabaisse
Bouillabaisse is a traditional French dish that sounds elegant, but is simple to create. There are multitudes of different Bouillabaisse recipes. The traditional recipes used bony fish. The scorpion fish was used frequently by the fishermen in France because they did not earn a high income. For this reason, they kept the scorpion fish for themselves. This also applied to the smaller crustaceans that were caught. They would all go into the pot to make the fish stew.
It has been said that this fish stew stems from a soup that originated in Greece. It is believed that the soup was brought to France by the founders of Marseille. This South of France Bouillabaisse is a wonderful self catering meal to share with your dinner guests.
The classic bouillabaisse has seven various kinds of seafood and is topped with a Rouille sauce just prior to serving.
• Approximate preparation time: 15 minutes
• Approximate cooking time: 30 minutes
Tools for the Rouille Sauce
• A food processor
• Measuring spoons and cups
• A manual citrus juicer (optional)
• An egg separator (optional)
Ingredients for the Rouille Sauce
• A red bell pepper (roasted and peeled)
• 1 pc. of white bread (torn into tiny pieces)
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 tbs. of Dijon mustard
• 2 egg yolks
• A pinch of saffron
• 1 lemon (only the juice)
• 1 c. olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
To Prepare the Rouille Sauce
1. Put the garlic, egg yolks, bell pepper, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and saffron in the food processor. Puree ingredients until smooth.
2. Slowly add all of your olive oil to the running food processor.
3. Salt and pepper to taste
4. Cover and refrigerate until it is time to serve the stew.
• A cutting board
• A wooden spoon
• A knife
• Large saucepan or Dutch oven
• A toaster oven/toaster
• A ladle
• Measuring cups and spoons
• 4 to 6 bowls for serving
• 1 c. chopped onion
• 2 lbs. of firm whitefish (assorted)
• 4 finely chopped shallots
• ¾ c. olive oil
• 2 c. crushed tomatoes (canned)
• A red bell pepper (chopped)
• 2 tsp. of fennel seed
• 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
• 2 tsp. of salt
• ¼ tsp. of saffron
• ½ tsp. of dried thyme
• 1 ½ tsp. of black pepper
• 2 c. fish broth
• 4 c. water
• 2 lbs. of mussels
• 5 whole crabs (cut into quarters)
• A loaf of sliced and toasted French bread
• 2 c. of shrimp (uncooked)
To Prepare the Bouillabaisse Stew
1. Put the entire 2 pounds of the whitefish on your cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut them into 2” pieces and then set the fish aside.
2. In the large saucepan/Dutch oven, heat ¾ c. of olive oil on medium to high heat.
3. Once the oil is hot, add the bell pepper, shallots and chopped onions to it.
4. For 2 or 3 minutes, sauté the peppers, shallots and onions in the pan.
5. Now add the tomatoes, chopped garlic, fennel seed, saffron, dried thyme, salt and pepper.
6. Using the wooden spoon, stir the vegetables together to cover them with the olive oil.
7. Add the 4 c. of water to the pan; bring it to a rolling boil.
8. Now add the crab quarters, whitefish pieces and 2 c. of fish broth to the pan and boil the stew for another 7 to 9 minutes.
9. Place the clams, shrimp and mussels into the pan.
10. Boil for an additional 6 minutes.
11. Upon completion, the clams and mussels begin to open and the shrimp will be pink and firm
12. Put one slice of the already toasted bread in the bottom of the serving bowls.
13. Use a ladle to pour the bouillabaisse on the bread.
14. Put a dollop of the chilled Rouille sauce on top and serve.
Although there have been variations of this recipe seen worldwide, this classic version is still a popular recipe made in French cottages and homes throughout the nation.