Friday, January 30, 2015


Bouillabaisse in Lobster Stock
There are as many different versions of Bouillabaisse as there are fish in the sea.  In this version, I used only shrimps, mussels, clams, calamari, and a lobster tail.  The seafood stock should be home-made, but I've seen versions of Bouillabaisse made with clam broth.  In this recipe, I used home-made lobster stock.

Bouillabaisse, or fishermen's stew, originated in the Provence region of France in the city of Marseilles.  The fishermen would create a stew from the fish they were unable to sell at the local markets.   Onions, celery, leeks, fennel and tomatoes are simmered in a seafood broth and served with the fish.  But what makes a bouillabaisse different from other fish stews is the herbs and citrus essence that help enhance its flavor.

Bouillabaisse is traditionally served with a Rouille, a mayonnaise made of olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper.  It is served with grilled slices of crusty bread.

I like to serve my Bouillabaisse directly from the pot.  The Rouille and bread are served separately on the side.  Serves 2

For the Bouillabaisse:
2 Quarts of Lobster Stock (or Seafood stock)
Pinch of Saffron Threads
1 cup leeks, julienned
2 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Juice and zest of one orange
1 cup fennel, julienned
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 calamari body, cleaned (about 8 oz)
6 littleneck clams
1 pound mussels
8 Jumbo (U-15) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lobster tail

In a large Dutch oven, heat seafood (or lobster) stock over medium/high heat and then bring to a simmer. Add the saffron, leeks, tomatoes, orange juice, orange zest, fennel, garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the calamari and clams and cook for about 3-4minutes. Add the shrimp and mussels and lobster tail. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the shells have opened.  Discard any shells that do not open.

For the Rouille:
1 red pepper, roasted and peeled
3 garlic cloves
1 cup crust-less bread cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
6 slices of crusty bread

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients, except for the oil. Puree until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.

To Serve:
The Bouillabaisse could be served directly from the pot or the seafood could be removed from the pot and placed on a large platter. Pour the stock into a serving bowl. Serve the Rouille and crusty bread on the side of the Bouillabaisse.