The red carpet is down today at the Grand Théatre Lumiére of the Palais de Festivals at the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival. The picturesque port city of Cannes is not only home to the S&T family, but the Riviera is also home of the Provençal wonder called bouillabaisse. Marseilles is the rightful birthplace of this fish and seafood stew but all the ports up and down the Côte d’Azur have their own versions of this classic. The authentic broth is a mix of garlic, onions, fennel, tomatoes and saffron. Traditionally, at least 3 types of fish are added along with shellfish. Baguette croutons slathered with rouille are served first with the flavorful broth. This quick weeknight version packs all the punch of a traditional bouillabaisse in a fraction of the time. We add a hit of pastis to amp up the fennel component. It’s only 15 minutes prep, 25 minutes unattended oven time and can easily be halved or doubled to suit your family. Enjoy the quick culinary trip to the South of France!
Recipe for Weeknight Bouillabaisse
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup Pastis, Pernod or Ouzo (critical not optional)
1 – 28oz can of whole peeled Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 good pinch of saffron
1 tbsp orange zest
2 Tbps chopped parsley
3/4 lb of salmon filet, trimmed
3/4 lb firm white fish (tilapia, grouper, sea bass)
1 lb of shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails on
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sauté the bacon in a large ovenproof skillet. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Sauté onion in olive oil for approx 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add white wine and pastis/pernod/ouzo and bring to a boil, scraping up all bits. Add back the bacon, diced tomatoes and saffron. Bring to another boil then reduce to medium heat for 5 minutes. Add parsley, orange zest and salt & pepper to taste. Nestle the fish pieces into the tomato mixture, spooning some sauce over the top. Place the skillet in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook another 5 minutes or until thickest fish pieces are thoroughly cooked. Serve on top of couscous along with toasted baguette slices with rouille on the side for the broth. Serves 4.
* Cook’s note: Feel free to also add cleaned mussels or clams at the start of the oventime. Be sure all are fully opened at the end of the cooking process.*