Seafood Stew from Southern France - Bouillabaisse

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Chief Longwind Of The North

Aug 26, 2004
Well, I just knocked a recipe from my bucket list - Bouillabaisse. I went online to ATK, food network, all-recipes, and other trusted sites to get an idea of what this rich seafood stew is, and what it isn't. To my surprise, it isn't as challenging as I thought it would be, and came together quickly. The results were just short of fabulous. It had mixed reviews from the family. Here's how i made it.12 oz. Note, fresh seafood is hard to come by in middle Montana. I used mostly frozen seafood, which worked out better than I thought it would.

12 oz. can baby clams, with can liquor
20 deveined, raw, EZ-peel jumbo shrimp
1/2 lb. frozen bay scallops
1/2 lb. frozen squid, with tentacles
3 tbs. fresh celery leaves, with skinny stems, minced
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1 small, red sweet pepper, minced
4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
12 oz. canned, chopped tomato
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optinal)
3 tbs. butter

Thaw frozen seafood, retaining any juices that accumulate. Peel shrimp, saving the skins. These will be used to both add flavor, and thicken the broth. Prepare shallot, sweet pepper, garlic, and celery leaves.

Heat butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add minced veggies. Stir every 2 minutes or so until lightly browned. Deglaze with package juices from frozen seafood. Add the can liquor from the clams. Reduce heat to simmer. Add the shrimp shells. Cook for ten minutes. Add the tomato.

Pour this mixture into a blender and blend on high to make a puree. Place puree back into the Dutch oven, along with the chicken broth. Bring to a gentle boil. While the soup is heating, cut each shrimp in half, lengthwise. Add all seafood, including clams, into the pot. Remove from heat. Let soup sit, covered for ten minutes. The carry-over heat will cook the seafood, without overcooking it, and making it tough. Serve with crusty, toasted French Bread, coated with an aioli of mayo, lemon, and saffron.

DDIL, and youngest grandchild didn't care for the squid. He now loves scallop, which previously he didn't like. Though I enjoyed it all, The rich broth was especially good. As much as I love shellfish, squid, and shrimp, the broth was better than the seafood.

I'd never heard of using pureed, cooked shrimp skins to thicken a soup. It thickened everything just right, and added wonderful flavor.

Ok, I made bouillabaisse. I'm now a real :chef:, but without the formal training. If you love seafood, try this. The only ingredient I didn't have was a fir, sweet white fish, such as red snapper, pollock, or any other low fat fresh fish. Ah well, you use what you can.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Well done, Chief - one off the bucket list.
My recipe doesn´t use chicken stock, and I also add fennel and a bit of orange peel.
Well done, Chief - one off the bucket list.
My recipe doesn´t use chicken stock, and I also add fennel and a bit of orange peel.

Yes, fennel & orange peel are part of a traditional Marseille Bouillabaisse. Congrats on making bouillabaisse when you're landlocked, Chief.

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