Transport yourself to the south of France with our version of traditional bouillabaisse, accompanied by aioli toast. Chill your favorite Provençal Rosé to serve alongside this dish, or, even better, select a few bottles and do a wine tasting amongst your guests.
For those of you who don't know what bouillabaisse is, it is a Provençal fish stew originating from the city of Marseille, one of the major ports of the Mediterranean Sea, situated west of the Riviera. Depending upon how spicy you prefer this dish is entirely up to you! We add a little bit of ginger to ours and then top the soup with some freshly sliced jalapeno (minus the seeds) to give it that extra kick. The traditional stew serves rouille and garlic toasts on the side. We prefer to spread aioli on our toasted baguette.
We should probably mention that our bouillabaisse is a little bit 'Americanized' since we add corn and lobster to our version of this soup (not to mention ginger and jalapeno). We also prefer cod, specifically Chatham cod, as opposed to dorade, rouget, or snapper. We prefer the richer texture of the cod and it is also difficult to overcook it.
On the same sunny afternoon that we recently decided to make this bouillabaisse, we visited our local fishmonger to select the seafood that would be used. We didn't have to go far to pick up a variety of Provençal rosés to be later paired alongside our stew. As we usually did while out to the markets, we picked up some lunch while our fish chilled on ice, and then, found ourselves stumbling into the local farmers market for fresh herbs. It was at that moment, that we spotted some gorgeous fresh peaches, that the idea to poach that very fruit in one of those bottles of recently purchased rosé was born.
This dessert was incredibly refreshing on this particularly hot, summer day. I find it ironic that bouillabaisse is served during the hot summers in the south of France when it is sweltering hot. It is no wonder, then, that the French wash it down with cold bottles or carafes of rosé. Our poached peaches were not only swimming in this rosé, but we topped them with a rosé granité.
Serves 6 people
2 lbs. of Chatham Cod
2 Lobsters (1 ½ lb. each)
One lb. of Mussels
One lb. of Little Neck Clams
One lb. of Shrimp
Two White Onions (chopped)
Three branches of Celery (sliced)
Two peeled Carrots (sliced)
One large Fennel Head (chopped)
One Leek (chopped)
One Tbsp. of grated Ginger
Fresh Jalapeno (deseeded, optional)
One lb. of Idaho Potatoes (peeled and quartered)
Six Plum Tomatoes
Three pieces of Corn (cut into pieces)