Bouillabaise French Fish Stew Recipe
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 large onion, chopped
2 large leeks trimmed of tough green heads and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 – 2 carrots sliced and finely chopped (1 cup chopped)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups fish stock or 2 cups water plus 2 teaspoons fish or chicken base or 1 12-oz bottle clam juice plus ½ cup water
- 1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes, or 3 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 lb. crabs, cleaned (raw or cooked) yield approximately 12 oz. meat –
optional 1 lobster or 2 – 3 lobster tails –
optional 1 lb firm finned fish, such as Halibut, Tuna, Swordfish, etc.
- 1 lb. scallops
- 12 clams in shell, scrubbed or 12 black mussels in shells with beards removed and scrubbed
- 1 lb. medium to large fresh shrimp, shelled and de-veined
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*The seafood in this recipe can be varied according to availability. Crab, Lobster, Mussels, cockles, clams, cubes of firm fish such as halibut, sea bass, swordfish, tuna, etc. all work well. The amount of total edible seafood within the dish should range from between 2 and 3 lb.
Lightly spray a 6 to 8 quart Dutch oven or stockpot with cooking spray and heat over medium for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions, leeks, garlic, sweet pepper, carrots and parsley and sauté until onions are soft about 5 minutes. (If vegetables begin to dry out or stick, add a little water or wine to pan.)
Add wine and stock or clam juice to vegetables and bring to a low boil. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, fennel seeds, saffron, red pepper flakes and black pepper and bring back to low boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes, uncovering occasionally to stir.
If using crabs, remove meat from the body shells and small claws; leave meat in large claws and set aside. If using lobsters remove claws, cutting tails lengthwise then crosswise into 4 to 5 pieces and set aside. Add uncooked crab or lobster meat and claws to pot followed by chunks of finned fish. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add all shell fish except shrimp if using, i.e. clams, mussels, scallops, etc. Cover and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cooked crab if using and continue to simmer an additional 5 minutes or until the shrimp have turned pink and shellfish have opened.
Add salt and stir in ½ tablespoon of olive oil, adjust seasonings if necessary and serve in soup plates with warm sourdough or French bread.
See glossary for recipe ingredients you’re not familiar with.