Bouillabaise from Chef Jacques Haeringer of L'Auberge Chez Francois
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup EACH finely chopped onion, carrots and leeks, well-washed
1/8 cup finely julienned celery
2 teaspoons minced shallots
3/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups fish stock
1 tablespoon sea salt, approximately
I bouquet garni consisting of ½ teaspoon fennel seed,
1/2 teaspoon anise seed, 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 clove, pinch of thyme and 2 cloves garlic crushed, wrapped in a cheesecloth
1/2 teaspoon saffron
8 little neck clams
1/4 pound sea scallops
1 ‑1 pound Maine lobster
1/4 pound raw shrimp (20‑24 count)
8 ounces fish fillets (red snapper, sea bass, grouper)
4 oysters, optional
2 teaspoons Pernod
2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh fennel
1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onions, leeks, celery, and carrots and cook covered until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring often. Add the shallots, tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, fish stock, salt, and bouquet garni. Boil for approximately 2 5 minutes. Add the saffron, and simmer 5 more minutes.
While the broth is cooking, prepare the seafood. Clean the mussels individually under cold running water, scraping off any clinging barnacles or “beards.”
Discard any half‑open shells or any unusually heavy ones, indicating internal grit.
Rinse the clams, oyster, and scallops in cold water.
Using a sharp heavy knife, force the point of the blade through the top of the lobster head between the eyes; then cut down through the center of the head and tail, splitting the lobster in half. Remove and discard the stomach sac behind the eyes, and the intestinal vein running down the center of the tail. Remove the claws and crack them with the blunt edge of the blade.
Peel and de-vein the shrimp.
Cut the fish fillets into 2‑ to 3‑inch diagonal slices.
To prepare the Bouillabaisse:
Add the mussels and clams to the boiling broth and simmer 5 minutes. Then add the lobster, shrimp, scallops, and fish. Continue boiling until all the shellfish are open, approximately 5 to 8 more minutes. Do not overcook.
Remove from heat, adjust seasoning (more garlic or saffron according to taste), add Pernod, chopped fennel and serve immediately in large warm soup platters.
Garnish with the garlic toasts.
Hint: Prepare the broth ahead and refrigerate. Reheat and cook the seafood just prior to serving. Freeze any remaining broth to use another time.
Thank you to Chef Jacques Haeringer for allowing us to repost his recipe. If you are in Northern Virginia, you must go to his restaurant, L’Auberge Chez Francois. It is simply the best!