bouillabaisse

i bookmark recipes on a daily basis, but every once in a while you come across one that you need some extra support to accomplish. i wanted to make bouillabaisse, a french fish stew which requires (recommends, for ultimate triumph) the making of your own fish stock using fish bones obtained from a seafood market which you have to call ahead for. i mentioned this to my friend anne, who teamed up with me to spend the majority of a sunday afternoon cooking dinner for ourselves and husbands/future husbands.

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we used the recipe outlined by the amateur gourmet, sticking pretty closely to it. it breaks the process into four parts:

  • the fumet
  • the marinade
  • the aioli
  • and the actual bouillabaisse

each piece builds upon the last, until you have a classically complex french meal. the fumet is the fish broth, which is made by boiling down fish bones with a vide variety of vegetables and a hint of pernod. it starts out like this:

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the marinade is simple, and can be made relatively quickly and set aside. the aioli is to die for – so garlicky but you could eat it by the spoon full. and then the bouillabaisse itself starts with a solid-free portion of the stock and then gets a healthy dose of vegetables and of course, the mussels, clams, and fish:

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in between the prepping and boiling down you get to enjoy a little bit of champagne. this part is not required but highly recommended:

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and in the end, you get to serve this:

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with some good hearty bread and good friends, it’s the ultimate culinary accomplishment.

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