On Good Friday this year I decided to cook Seafood Bouillabaisse for dinner, my first attempt at making this. I do love seafood but we don't often cook it at home due to cost and my partner's whinging (he's a red meat kinda man). I've always liked seafood chowder, stew and the likes so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to use my excess tomatoes from my garden and make a hell of a seafood dish. I adapted a recipe from Taste.com.au and made some minor changes. To start with I went shopping late because of work so a lot of the seafood had already sold out by the time I got to the shops, not to mention the atrocious prices for Easter.
Bouillabaisse is a French dish that originated from Marseille. I believe different fishes are used traditionally but as it is a stew, fish with firm meat would be ideal so it doesn't crumble and melt apart. It is also traditionally served with bread and rouille. It started out as a humble man's dish but has since evolved into a regular on upper-class dining menus.
Ingredients serves 4:
1 baby fennel chopped finely
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion chopped finely
1 stalk celery chopped finely
3 cloves garlic minced
1 leek chopped finely
1/4 tsp firmly packed saffron threads
5 cups fish stock
1 kg ripened tomatoes peeled and chopped finely
1/2 orange peel
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 star anise
500g green king prawns shelled and deveined
500g green lipped mussels
600g John Dory fillets cut to cubes
600g flake fillets cut to cubes
salt to taste
Thinly sliced baguette
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat and add chopped fennel, leek, onion, garlic and celery and saute until softened.
- Meanwhile, combine saffron and 100mL of fish stock in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Add tomato paste to the pan and stir well then add saffron mixture, tomatoes, bay leaves, star anise, thyme, cayenne pepper, orange peel and a pinch of salt. Pour the rest of the stock into the pan and mix well.
- Toast some thin slices of baguette and top with grated Gruyere cheese. Place under the grill until cheese is melted.
- Heat another pan with 125mL water and fry mussels over high heat for about 5 minutes or until shells open.
- Add the fish to the stock, followed by prawns and lastly scallops making sure the seafood is submerged in the liquid. Cook for 5 minutes or until seafood is just cooked.
- Add the mussels to the pot and stir well. Turn off the heat and divide the bouillabaisse into 4 serves. Serve with toasted cheese baguette slices.
I hope you enjoy this dish. It was very wholesome and warming. Be careful not to overcook any of the seafood. The original recipe from Taste.com.au can be found here.