Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bouillabaisse with Toasted French Bread & Rouille

Adapted from Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, by Alice Waters
Serves 4
Prep the fish & shellfish:
2 # boneless, skinless halibut filets
12 medium-sized scallops
12 very large shrimp
12 littleneck clams (plus 6 more for the fish stock)
12 mussels (plus 6 more for the fish stock)
Slice the halibut into even-sized pieces, about 2 inches long by 1 inch wide, making sure to keep them all about the same size so they cook evenly.  Refrigerate.
Remove the abductor mussel (that little flap on the side) from the scallops.  Refrigerate.
Peel the shrimp, removing the hard outer shells, but leaving the tail intact.  Reserve the shells for the fish stock.  De-vein the shrimp (i.e. remove the intestinal tract).  Use a paring knife to make a shallow slice along the center of the outer edge of the shrimp.  This will expose the dark grey ‘vein’, running along the length of the shrimp.  Scrape it out with the knife.  Refrigerate.
Scrub the clams, and scrub and de-beard (pull off the raggedy brown stringy ‘beard’).  Soak the clams and mussels in separate containers of cold, salted water for 30 minutes.  Drain, rinse and refrigerate. 
Clams, Mussels, Halibut, Scallops & Shrimp
Marinate the halibut, scallops & shrimp:
2 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 Tbl Pernod
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs tarragon
3 sprigs parsley
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half
pinch saffron
Whisk to combine the olive oil, wine and Pernod.  Place the sliced halibut, scallops and shrimp in a large bowl, along with thyme, tarragon, parsley, garlic and saffron.  Pour the marinade over everything, and toss very gently to combine.  Cover and refrigerate. 
Marinating Halibut, Scallops & Shrimp
Make the fish stock:
about 4 # fish bones (from any white-fleshed fish such as cod, bass or halibut)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
the reserved shrimp shells
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small leek, roughly chopped and thoroughly washed
1 yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
6 mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
6 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs tarragon
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 cup dry white wine
6 mussels
6 clams
peel of 1 small orange
1 Tbl Pernod
pinch saffron
pinch cayenne
kosher salt, to taste
Thoroughly rinse the fish bones.  Make sure the gills have been removed and that there are no bloody parts.  Chop the bones into large chunks, small enough so that they will fit easily into a 12-quart stock pot. 
Heat the olive oil in the stock pot over medium heat.  Add the fish bones, shrimp shells, carrot, leek, onion, tomato, mushrooms and garlic.  Gently sauté the bones, shells and vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 
Combine the parsley, tarragon, thyme, fennel seeds, bay leaf, peppercorns and coriander seeds in a small satchel made from a square of cheesecloth and tied with kitchen twine.  Add this satchel to the stock pot along with the wine, mussels, clams, orange peel, Pernod, saffron and cayenne.  Add enough water to just cover the bones and vegetables.  Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, skimming frequently and discarding the froth that collects on the surface.  Allow the stock to rest off the heat for 15 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh sieve.  If you’re making the stock in advance, allow it to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. 
Vegetables for Fish Stock
Make the rouille:
1 small red bell pepper
1 small ripe tomato
1 slice good-quality white bread, crusts removed
2 Tbl fish stock
2 egg yolks
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
pinch saffron
pinch cayenne
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Roast and peel the pepper & tomato: Preheat the oven to 500°F.  Place the pepper and tomato on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast, turning every 5-7 minutes, until the skin is loose and blistery.  Remove from the oven and place the pepper in a container, covered with a lid or with plastic wrap.  Allow it to set for about 15 minutes.  The tomato does not need to be kept in a container – Allow it to cool on the countertop.  Remove the pepper from the container.  Slice in half, length-wise, and then into quarters, lengthwise again.  Remove the stems, seeds, and any tough, pithy membranes inside.  Using a knife, scrape off the charred skin.  Peel the skin from the tomato, slice it into quarters, lengthwise, then squeeze out the seeds.  Discard the seeds, core and stems.  Place the roasted pepper and tomato flesh in the bowl of a food processor, and puree 1 minute.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, soak the slice of bread in the fish stock until it is very soft.  Add the egg yolks, minced garlic, saffron and cayenne.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Whisk until the mixture is well combined and slightly foamy.  Slowly add the olive oil, then the vegetable oil, just a few drops at at time, constantly beating with the whisk, until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture is thick and smooth, the consistency of mayonnaise.  Add the pureed pepper-tomato mixture to the oil mixture and stir to combine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Reserve.
Make the broth:
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped and thoroughly washed
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 bay leaf
pinch saffron
the previously made fish stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tbl Pernod
1 sprig tarragon
1 sprig parsley
peel of 1/2 small orange
2 Tbl finely chopped parsley, for garnish
8 small basil leaves, for garnish
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Peel and seed the tomatoes:  Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Meanwhile, score a small ‘x’ in the skin on the bottom of each tomato, making sure not to cut too deep.  When the water comes to the boil, lower the tomatoes into the water.  As soon as the skin begins to peel back, after about 30 seconds, remove the tomatoes from the water.  Allow the tomatoes to cool slightly, then peel off the skins. Slice the tomatoes in quarters, lengthwise, then cut out the cores and squeeze out the seeds.  Finely chop the tomatoes.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped leek and onion, and sauté, stirring occasionally until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add the minced garlic, bay leaf and saffron, and continue to sauté about 2 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add the fish stock, wine, Pernod, tarragon, parsley and orange peel.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.  Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.   
Toast the French bread:
1 French baguette
about 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced in half
Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Slice the baguette on the diagonal into sixteen 3/4-inch wide slices.  Brush the top of each slice with olive oil, and arrange on a parchment-line baking sheet.  Bake until golden brown, crisp on the surface but still soft in the middle, about 10 minutes.  Rub the tops with the garlic while the bread is still warm.
Finish the bouillabaisse:
Add the clams and mussels to the hot broth.  Cover, and steam until they begin to open, about 2-3 minutes.  As the shellfish open, remove them from the broth with tongs, and place them in a bowl on the side, covered to keep in the heat.  Gently place the halibut in the broth.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the fish is just cooked through.  (Do not stir the broth or you will break-up the fish.)  When the fish is cooked though, lift the pieces from the broth with a metal spatula and keep them warm in a covered bowl.  Repeat this process with the scallops and the shrimp, gently simmering both in the broth until just cooked.
Arrange the 2-3 pieces of halibut and 3 scallops over the bases of four over-sized serving bowls.  Arrange 3 shrimp over the halibut and scallops, in the center of the bowl.  Place 3 mussels and 3 clams around the inside perimeter of each bowl.  Spoon about 1 1/2 cups hot broth over each bowl of fish and shellfish.  Garnish each bowl with whole basil leaves and a sprinkling of parsley.  Spread a small amount of rouille over the toasted bread and serve with the bouillabaisse.  Serve more rouille and toasted bread on the side.
Boullabaisse with Toasted Bread & Rouille