Here’s a step-to-step guide on how to make one of the great dishes of the world
What started out as a humble peasant’s stew in the Mediterranean coast of France is now regarded as one of the world’s greatest dishes. And who wouldn’t love bouillabaisse soup with its thick, creamy sauce and delicious mélange of seafoods? Through the years, the soup has evolved into different variations and even discriminating chefs agree that one could make his or her own version of this well-loved European dish depending on one’s tastes and the availability of ingredients.
In Philippine restaurants, bouillabaisse is an expensive soup, so mastering the art of cooking the dish can be an advantage especially if one owns an eatery business. But whether it’s for making money or for the sheer love of food, we’re sharing with you one of the authentic versions of bouillabaisse soup courtesy of www.epicurious.com. Feel free to experiment according to your whims!
• 12 to 16 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, halved
• 1 (1- to 1 1/4-1b) live lobster
• 2 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 lb boiling potatoes
• 1/3 cup finely chopped fennel fronds (sometimes called anise)
• 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
• 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
• 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 9 cups white fish stock
• 3 lb mixed skinned white fish fillets (such as monkfish, turbot, red snapper, striped bass, porgy, grouper, and/or cod), cut into 2-inch pieces
• Rouille (a peppery garlic sauce)
Plunge lobster headfirst into a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling water, then cook, covered, 2 minutes from time lobster enters water. Transfer lobster with tongs to a colander and let stand until cool enough to handle. Discard hot water in pot. Put lobster in a shallow baking pan. Twist off claws with knuckles from body, then crack claws with a mallet or rolling pin and separate claws from knuckles. Halve body and tail lengthwise through shell with kitchen shears, then cut crosswise through shell into 2-inch pieces. Reserve lobster juices that accumulate in baking pan.
Cook tomatoes, onion, and garlic in oil in cleaned 6- to 8-quart pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Stir potatoes into tomatoes with fennel fronds, bay leaf, saffron, sea salt, and pepper. Add stock and bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add thicker pieces of fish to soup and simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes. Stir in remaining fish and lobster, including juices, and simmer, uncovered, until they are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir 3 tablespoons broth from soup into rouille until blended. Arrange 2 croutons in each of 6 to 8 deep soup bowls. Carefully transfer fish and lobster from soup to croutons with a slotted spoon, then ladle some broth with vegetables over seafood.
Top each serving with 1 teaspoon rouille and serve remainder on the side.