Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bouillabaisse for Your Soul

Wow, these past 30 days have flown by; I can't believe we have been in our new apartment now for one month.  Thankfully most of the boxes are done (only 3 meaningless ones left), the kitchen is in the order I like and all of our new living room pieces were finally delivered yesterday (thank God).  I will be on a mission to pay more loving attention to my blog, lol.

The past couple of days that Chris has been home from work, I made tacos and carne guisada so today I was in the mood for something along the line of a more lighter fare like seafood.  The weather today was cool and crisp which made it perfect soup weather so I decided I would make Bouillabaisse. 

You may be asking yourself, "What is this Bouillabaisse?" Bouillabaisse is really a fish chowder; whole small fish or large fish cut into serving pieces are boiled in a deliciously aromatic fish broth.  It is a traditional Provencal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille.  


Rouille (recipe below)
1/2 lb sea scallops
1 dz littleneck clams
1 dz mussels
1/2 lb shrimp, shelled, deveined & tails removed
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lg leek, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 can (14 1/2 oz) San Marzano tomatoes
1 lb cod fillet, cut into chunks
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley


Let's talk about your leeks; make sure to submerge your sliced leeks in cold water to remove all the grit and sand.  Place leeks in a colander and submerge in a large bowl of cold water; let sit for about 5 min, swishing occasionally to help remove all the dirt.  Pull the colander out, give a few shakes and set aside.  You will notice your bowl has a lot of dirt.

If for some reason you are unable to find any cod in stock, ask for scrod or red fish which will work equally as well in this dish.

Rinse scallops under cold water to remove any sand.  Slice each scallop horizontally in half.  

Make sure to scrub your clams and mussels under cold running water to remove any sand; remove any beards from the mussels.

In a Dutch oven, heat 1 cup of water to boiling over high heat.  Add clams and mussels; heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook about 5 min, stirring occasionally until shells open.  Discard any clams or mussels that do not open.

With a slotted spoon, transfer cooked shellfish to a bowl.

Transfer broth to a measuring cup or small bowl and let stand until sand settles to the bottom.  Carefully pour through a sieve into another measuring cup or bowl making sure to leave behind any grit or sand that was settled in the cup; set broth aside.  

Dry your Dutch oven.  Heat oil over medium heat; add leeks and garlic and cook until tender.  

Add salt, thyme, saffron, tomatoes with their juice,  clam broth and 1 cup of water; heat to boiling over high heat, breaking up tomatoes with the back of your spoon.

Add cod, shrimp and scallops; heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, 8 minutes until seafood is opaque throughout.  

Add the clams and mussels, and heat through.  

So what is Rouille?  Rouille is a French word for rust!  It is a sauce made of  bread or breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper and is served as a garnish.

To make the Rouille:

1 slice firm white bread, crusts trimmed
1 red pepper
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat your broiler; line a pan with foil.  Cut your pepper lengthwise in half; discard any stems and seeds.  Place peppers, skin-side up, on the pan.  

Broil at closest position to the heat source, about 10-12 min or until charred all over.  

Wrap in foil, and let stand 15 min.  

Remove foil, and peel off skin.

Soak bread (I use sourdough) in water to cover 5 min; squeeze out water.  

In a blender or food processor, puree bread, roasted and peeled red pepper, olive oil and cayenne pepper.  Create a paste with the salt and finely chopped or minced garlic; stir into the bread mixture.

Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with parsley.  Top each serving with a dollop of Rouille.

Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

Well I'll be on a very long, well deserved and seriously overdue vacation really soon so hopefully I will have more tasty posts coming.

Until next time, Happy Eating!!