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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bouillabaisse - Fish Stew French-like

On the series of French Food Safari the celebrity chef that tagged along with the host through France was Guillaume Brahimi.  He owns a fine dining restaurant in Sydney and a newly opened French bistro in Melbourne.  On one of the episodes he cooked up a Bouillabaisse and it looked exceptional.  Garnished with baguette slices and topped with a mayonnaise infused potato mash - it was all I needed to put that on my hit list for French Food Weekend. 

So here is my adaptation of Guillaume's Bouillabaisse.  While my fish stew is a little lean on the exuberant fish types, it does not lack anything in taste.  Mine is Bouillabaisse on a budget for 5 people.  Seriously, I bought $5 worth of Whiting, $6 worth of Prawns and another $5 worth of live Mussels.  I used fish stock that was left over and frozen from a risotto I had made a short time back.  The result is a very French-like Fish(y) Stew that was loved by all.

For the soup
Olive Oil
500g x Whiting, heads removed and cleaned
1.5L x Fish Stock
1 x Fennel Head, sliced finely
1tsp x Fennel Seeds
2 x Carrots, roughly chopped
4 x Shallots, sliced
Zest of 1 Orange
180ml x White Wine
1tsp x Saffron
2tbsp x Tomato Paste
1tbsp x Dried Tarragon
500g x Raw Prawns, shelled and deveined
500g x Mussels, debearded and scrubbed

Parsley, to garnish
Lemon juice to drizzle

For the Mash Buttered Baguettes
1 long French Baguette, sliced on the bias 
6 x Potatoes, boiled and mashed (kept warm)
1 x Egg
1tbsp x Dijon Mustard
Half cup of Vegetable Oil
1tbsp x Lemon Juice
Salt & pepper
1tbsp x Butter

Heat a heavy pot with a little olive oil
Chop the whiting into 2 inch pieces and add to the pot 
Add all remaining ingredients to the pot except the prawn & mussels
Pour in enough Fish Stock to cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes
Allow the stew to cool slightly and place in a large jug
Using a food processor, blend the stew to a puree
Pass through a sieve back into the heavy pot
Bring the soup back to the boil and add the mussels and prawns
When the mussels open the soup is ready 
Pour soup into a large serving bowl

Make mayonnaise by blending the egg, mustard and lemon juice.
With the blender running slowly trickle in the oil until the mixture emulsifies into a thick mayonnaise.
Season with Salt and pepper and extra lemon juice if necessary.
Combine the mash potatoes and butter with the mayonnaise until mixed through  
Spread generously onto the baguette slices and place around the surface of the soup
Garnish with the parsley
Squeeze a little lemon juice
Serve immediately.  

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