It's almost summer. I grew up in a beach town and summer always makes me think of seafood. It still gets a little chilly here in New York at night so my family and I still want filling food...not heavy; a fish stew suits us well at this time of year.
Bouillabaisse sounds so fancy and it looks fancy to me... but it is traditionally from the seaside area of Marsille in France, and it was always made of the parts of the fish that couldn't be sold... you know heads, and guts, tails etc... tasty, but probably hard to avoid bones.
Bouillabaisse in restaurants is usually made from a firm white fish: cod, haddock, etc.. but not usually an oily fish like tuna or mackerel. It always includes some type of shell fish like mussels or clams.. and it usually contains potatoes, leeks, onions, tomatoes and celery; but you can play around with what vegetables you add to it.
If you follow this blog regularly you know that I have been experimenting with making all kinds of things in a slow cooker. I have decided that it is the best way to cook in the summer. No heat is admitted into your house, and it is there waiting for you after a long adventurous day in the sun.
I've never really cooked fish in a slow cooker, so I treated it like chicken... both cook quickly. I put the fish in frozen and on top of the vegetables. Making this dish it was the potatoes, not the fish, that were the slowest thing to cook.. I made sure they were on the bottom.
Well, guess what it worked! This stew is amazing. It tasted like something I had in an outdoor bistro on the French coast.
Slow Cooker Bouillabaisse: Fisherman's Stew
by Diane Balch
preparation time 20 minutes serves: 8 - 10
2 leeks, white and light green part only, chopped
2 celery chopped
10 small red potatoes quartered
1 small fennel bulb chopped
3 pounds of a frozen white fish (cod, snapper, haddock etc)
1 pound of a frozen seafood (sea scallops, squid, etc.)
1 pound of a fresh shellfish ( clams, or mussels)
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 orange peel
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of ground thyme
1 teaspoon of saffron
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of salt
Pepper to taste
crosti toast or baguette toast
Rouille sauce or Boar's Head Fiery Chipotle Gourmaise
1) Put potatoes first into a large crockpot, followed by the: leeks, celery, fennel, bay leaf and orange peel.
2) Put the frozen white fish on top of the vegetables.
3) Put the frozen seafood on top of the white fish.
4) In a large bowl whisk together: diced tomatoes, chicken broth, white wine, thyme, saffron, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
5) Pour the broth mixture over the fish and vegetables.
6) Let cook for 4 - 6 hours on low. When you can put a fork through the potatoes easily the stew is done.
7) Turn off the heat and add the fresh shell fish. Stir it until shells open about 3 minutes.
Spread either rouille sauce or gourmaise sauce over the toast and float one or two in each bowl of stew.
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Miz Helen: http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com
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