OK—if you don’t like sea food, don’t even bother looking at this recipe. But if you do—well, here’s an uncomplicated (don’t let the 20 listed ingredients scare you) and delicious way to make what many consider the Cadillac of fish stews. There are so many different versions and recipes for an original and good bouillabaisse; many take hours and a huge amount of various ingredients to make. However, the following recipe results in my opinion in a delicious dish that is not complicated, particularly if you can procure all of the few ingredients that I have mentioned. Please know that you can use fresh or dried seasonings but if you use the fresh variety, it’ll take twice as much of the recipe’s called upon amount as it calls for the dried variety. Fish wise, this dish can be a bit pricey to make if you get fresh non-farmed fish from the fish monger, however if you get the frozen variety (and some of it is wild caught) it can be a lot less expensive. So, here’s a dish that you can make fast, fast for guests, for your family or just for your lonesome and then have some delicious left-over’s.
- 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion peeled and cut into eighths or if you wish, rough chopped by hand or food processor.
- 3 large peeled garlic cloves, rough chopped either by hand or in a food processor along with the onions.
- 2 celery stalks fine chopped by hand or food processor along with ingredient # 1 and #2.
- One 15-oz. can of whole tomatoes rough chopped if you want bigger chunks or even a can of commercially chopped tomatoes. Whatever, be sure to save the liquid to include in the recipe.
- 1-2 ears of unshucked corn, priorly soaked in water for about 1/2 hour and then microwaved for 2 minutes (for each ear) and then shucked and kernels cut off cob. Now you can use frozen corn or even rinsed canned corn. (optional)
- 3-5 baby red or white potatoes—cut in 2 inch pieces. (optional)
- 2 -8-oz bottles of clam juice and/ or seafood stock or a combination of both and actually you may want a bit more if you want a “thinner” potage.
- 2 Tsp. ground fennel
- 1/2- 3/4 Tsp. ground thyme
- 1-2 Tsp. dried parsley
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/2- 3/4 Tsp. dry basil
- 1/4 to 1/2 Tsp. Saffron powder
- S&P to taste
- 8-oz. combination of monkfish, swordfish, halibut, snapper or sea bass cut into large pieces.
- 8-oz. clean squid bodies, cut into rings and threads cut in large sections when unfrozen. (I found fresh frozen squid and they were delicious.)
- 10 to 15 whole unfrozen cooked medium sized or could even be small deveined shrimp with or without tail on. Sometimes I think it’s fun to present a dish which people have to actually participate in, ie, taking the shrimp tail off. And actually, some people like to munch on the tail.
- For last minute topping, freshly chopped parsley or even cilantro.
- Crusty French Bread to dip into your fish stew. If you wish, you could broil the bread spread with a bit of butter or olive oil and garlic.
- If your fish, squid and shrimp are frozen, unfreeze them per package instructions.
- In a large deep pot heat the 1-2 Tbslp. olive oil over medium heat. Then add the garlic, onion and celery and sauté till they are soft and slightly golden (about 5 minutes.)
- Then add ingredients # 5 to # 15. Also add in the potatoes if you are using them. Stir well and bring to a slow boil. Place a top on the pot, turn the heat down to medium and simmer with a top on for 30 minutes.
- Add the cut fish when the sauce is ready and cook covered for an additional 5 minutes or till the fish is fork ready.
- For your very last minute or two of cooking over medium heat and with a top on, add the squid and shrimp and the optional corn.
- You can top this all, when serving, with additional freshly chopped parsley or even cilantro.
- And don’t forget the crusty French bread and wine, like a rose(accent over the e).