Friday, February 16, 2007

A little fish delight

I have to admit that sometimes people are a little intimidated to cook for me, but I always appreciate it when they do. I was fortunate the other day that my friend made this dinner for me. Since it was so many mouthfuls of delicious I asked him if I could share it here. This soup is an amazing way to get many many vegetables into you at the same time. This recipe can be halved for a dinner for two served with a nice crusty bread.

(Yet another) French Fish Bouillabaisse with Saffron Red Pepper Aioli

3 T butter
2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion roughly chopped
½ leek thinly sliced (make sure you wash it well)
3-4 small boiling potatoes
1 carrot peeled and diced
1 zucchini diced
3-4 celery stalks diced
1 red pepper diced
1/8 t crushed saffron
2 t thyme
2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
½ c dry white wine or dry vermouth
***fish bullion or broth
1 lb peeled shrimp
1 lb firm white fish in small chunks
1/3 bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped

salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

2/3 c mayonnaise
3-4 fresh garlic cloves minced
1/2 t cayenne pepper
healthy pinch of saffron

Melt the butter and oil over medium high heat and add the chopped onion, leek and diced vegetables. Add the saffron and thyme and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and broth, breaking up the whole tomatoes with kitchen scissors in the cans before you add them. There should be enough liquid to cover all the chopped vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes with the cover on.

While the soup is simmering make the aioli. Mix. It’s fun seeing the small red flecks of saffron expand into the rich golden color saffron is so famous for.

Add the wine or vermouth and the fish and shrimp and bring the heat up again to cook the soup until the fish are just ready (depends how large the fish chunks are). Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the chopped parsley at the end and give it a swirl before serving. Enjoy! Tell me how it goes ...

*** fish broth or bullion is available made by Knorr, otherwise many Asian groceries have an assortment of shrimp or clam or general mixed seafood broth.