Oct 8, 2009

Recipe: Slow-cooked bouillabaisse

By: Andrew Schloss

Recipe: Slow-cooked bouillabaisse Author: Style At Home

Oct 8, 2009

Recipe: Slow-cooked bouillabaisse

By: Andrew Schloss
Fish stews exist wherever there’s water. Some are as thin as soup and others are so chock-full of shellfish and fish that there is hardly enough room in the pot for broth. Bouillabaisse is a regional stew and like all regional dishes, there are countless authentic recipes. You can drown in discussions over which ingredient list is the most correct, but you’ll make a better bouillabaisse if you go straight to the heart of the matter. Prepare a delicious broth infused with the flavors of the region -- fresh garlic, good olive oil, basil, fennel, saffron, citrus, and tomat -- let is simmer until the flavors marry, add the freshest and brightest fish that’s available, and then, whatever you do, don’t overcook it. The broth can percolate for the better part of a day (or make it a day ahead); it will only get better. But once the seafood is added, timing is crucial. In a slow cooker set to high, this means no more than 15 to 20 minutes; check frequently near the end to make sure the chunks of fish are just about to flake, and the shrimp or scallops are barely resilient.

8 minutes

Slow cook:
4 to 6 hours on low in a 3 ½-quart slow cooker or larger

At the end:
20 minutes

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup dry white wine
Juice and finally grated zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 fennel ribs, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups fish stock, or 2 fish bouillon cubes (9g each) dissolved in 4 cups boiling water
1 can (about 15 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
1 bay leaf
12 ounces boneless, skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces boneless, skinless lean fish fillet, such as cod, tilapia, or snapper, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

In a small bowl, crumble the saffron into the wine, and stir in the orange juice, and set aside

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fennel and sauté until the vegetables lose their raw look, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the wine saffron mixture and bring to a boil. Add the fish stock, orange zest, tomatoes, and bay leaf and stir to combine.

Pour into a slow cooker that is 3 ½ quarts or larger, cover the cooker, and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving, turn the cooker to high. Toss the fish and shrimp with the lemon juice. Stir into the broth in the cooker, cover, and cook until the fish cooks through, about 20 minutes. Stir in the parsley and ladle into bowls. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

What else?
• The broth for bouillabaisse can be made days or weeks ahead and frozen. Just thaw it, bring it back to a boil, and add the fish.

• Feel free to vary the fish and shellfish, but try to keep the proportions similar to the recipe’s. In addition to (or in place of) salmon you could use any oily fish, such as swordfish, shark, tuna, or bluefish. Add scrubbed mussels or clams along with the shrimp, or replace the shrimp with lobster tail and/or scallops.

slow-cooker-cover.jpgFrom Art of the Slow Cooker. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2009 by Andrew Schloss. All rights reserved.  Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.





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Recipe: Slow-cooked bouillabaisse