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National Bouillabaisse Day: Food Holidays

Quote for Today: “Bouillabaisse is only good because cooked by the French, who, if they cared to try, could produce an excellent and nutritious substitute out of cigar stumps and empty matchboxes.” Norman Douglas, British novelist (1868-1952)

Marseille France, Roadtrips R Us

Marseille France

Today is National Bouillabaisse Day. I honestly have never been to a restaurant that offered this classic provencal fish stew from the port city of Marseille. While in California, I had the good fortune to eat Cioppino at a couple of great restaurants that sold dozens and dozens of them everyday. The only problem that occurs is when you can not find a place that highlights their menu with a great fish stew. Odds are you are then better off making it at home. The recipe I am giving you is just a guideline. In no way shape or form is this a traditional Bouillabaisse that calls for Scorpion fish, Sea Robin and European Conger. I personally have a hard time finding these varieties, so here is my solution. If you are offended by this recipe, I apologize. But, give it a try I’m sure you will like it. Chef TJ

Serves 4
A Delicious Bouillabaisse - Panhandle Fish Stew (Serves 4-6)
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  1. Pangasius or Swai fillets - 1-1/2-2 lbs,diced into 1" cubes
  2. Mussels - 1 lb, debeared and scrubbed
  3. Crabmeat - 8 oz, claw or backfin-fresh or pasteurized
  4. Leeks - 2, rinsed well and thinly sliced
  5. Potatoes, medium - 2, peeled and diced
  6. Yellow Onion - 1, diced
  7. Garlic cloves - 2-3, minced
  8. Jalapeno - 1, diced fine
  9. Roma Tomato - 3, seeded and diced
  10. Unsalted butter - 2 tbsp
  11. Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  12. Clam juice - 1 pt
  13. Chicken stock - 1 pt
  14. Clamato or Bloody Mary Mix - 1 qt
  15. Pernod or Anisette - 2 oz
  16. Fresh basil - 1 bunch, chiffonade
  17. Salt and pepper - to taste
  18. Saffron - 1 tsp -
  1. In a large pot, melt butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks, onion and jalapeno then saute for 2-3 minutes using wooden spoon. Add garlic, saffron and tomatoes continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken stock and clam juice, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add fish pieces and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add mussels, cover and simmer until shells open. Add Clamato or Bloody Mary Mix and bring back to a simmer. Add pernod or Anisette along with crab meat and continue cooking 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add fresh basil. To accompany this dish, you will need one slice of toasted French bread per bowl along with one dollop of Rouille (mayonnaise spiked with garlic, cayenne pepper and saffron). Place bread in the bottom of a large soup bowl, ladle in fish stew and top with a dollop of Rouille.
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