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Highlights from Bouillabaisse-Palooza!

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Don't let these recipes intimidate you, they are much easier to do than you may think.

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Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew

3 ripe plum tomatoes

7 ounces Savoy cabbage, outer leaves removed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

7 ounces chorizo sausage (cooked or uncooked), skinned, and cut into chunks

2 pounds new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice

1/2 cup white wine

6 cups fish stock

2 pounds mixed white fish fillets, skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces

Extra virgin olive oil and coarsely chopped cilantro, for serving

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, core each tomato.

When water is boiling, plunge tomatoes into the boiling for about 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, then put in a bowl of cold water. Slip skins off the tomatoes and coarsely chop.

Slice the cabbage leaves into fine strands, discarding the tough central veins.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Pour off the fat.

Add the potatoes, stir and add the wine. Cook until wine is reduced by half.

Add the chopped tomatoes and fish stock and bring to a boil. Skim off any surface foam, and then simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Coarsely mash the potato and season to taste with salt.

Add the cabbage, bring back to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Season the fish with salt and pepper, add it to the soup and poach for 5 minutes.

Serve in warm bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped fresh cilantro.

Bouillabaisse

Use as many different types of fish as you can, such as fillets of flounder, haddock, cod, perch, whitefish, whiting, porgies, bluefish, bass – almost any combination. Count on at least three kinds to serve six.

3pounds of at least 3 different kinds of fish fillets, fresh or quick frozen (thaw first)

1/2 cup Olive oil

1-2 pounds of Oysters, clams, or mussels

1 cup cooked shrimp, crab, or lobster meat, or rock lobster tails

1 cup thinly sliced onions

4 Shallots, thinly sliced OR the white parts of 2 or 3 leeks, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 large tomato, chopped, or 1/2 cup canned tomatoes

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

4 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2-inch slice of fennel or 1 teaspoon of fennel seed

3 sprigs fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

2-3 whole cloves

Zest of half an orange

1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron

2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup clam juice or fish broth

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2/3 cup white wine

Sliced French bread

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large saucepan. When it is hot, add onions and shallots (or leeks). Sauté for a minute, then add crushed garlic (more or less to taste), and sweet red pepper. Add tomato, celery, and fennel. Stir the vegetables into the oil with a wooden spoon until well coated. Then add another 1/4 cup of olive oil, thyme, bay leaf, cloves and the orange zest. Cook until the onion is soft and golden but not brown.

Cut fish fillets into 2-inch pieces. Add the pieces of fish and 2 cups of water to the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add oysters, clams or mussels (though these may be omitted if desired) and shrimp, crabmeat or lobster tails, cut into pieces or left whole.

Add saffron, salt, pepper. Add clam juice, lemon juice, and white wine. Bring to a simmer again and cook about 5 minutes longer.At serving time taste and correct the seasoning of the broth, adding a little more salt or pepper if need be, and maybe a touch of lemon juice. Into each soup bowl place a thick slice of crusty French bread, plain or lightly toasted. Spoon the bouillabaisse over the bread.

Cioppino

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup butter

rib celery, chopped

onion, diced

1 can crushed tomatoes (28-oz)

2 cups clam juice or fish stock

2 cups white wine

4 cloves crushed garlic

1 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Dungeness crab (about 2-lbs), cracked and cleaned, or 1-lb frozen crabmeat thawed

2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 1-in slices

24 large prawns, peeled and de-veined

12 mussels

1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

In a large pot, on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the celery and onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and fresh parsley. Simmer on low, uncovered, for one hour. Add a splash of water if the sauce gets too thick. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.

Add the crab, shrimp, and halibut, and simmer covered another five minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mussels open. Turn off the heat, and stir in the Italian parsley.

Ladle the Cioppino into large bowls and serve with lots of sourdough bread and red wine.

Moqueca – Brazilian Fish Stew

1 1/2 to 2 lbs of fillets of firm white fish such as halibut, swordfish, or cod, rinsed in cold water, pin bones removed, cut into large portions

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 Tbsp lime or lemon juice

Sea Salt/Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

1 cup chopped spring onion, or 1 medium yellow onion, chopped or sliced

1/4 cup green onion greens, chopped

1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, de-stemmed, chopped (or sliced)

2 cups chopped (or sliced) tomatoes

1 Tbsp paprika (Hungarian sweet)

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped with some set aside for garnish

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

Place fish pieces in a bowl, add the minced garlic and lime juice so that the pieces are well coated. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Keep chilled while preparing the rest of the soup.

In a large covered pan (such as a Dutch oven), coat the bottom with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook a few minutes until softened. Add the bell pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. (At least a teaspoon of salt.) Cook for a few minutes longer, until the bell pepper begins to soften. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and onion greens. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

Use a large spoon to remove about half of the vegetables (you'll put them right back in). Spread the remaining vegetables over the bottom of the pan to create a bed for the fish. Arrange the fish pieces on the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then add back the previously removed vegetables, covering the fish. Pour coconut milk over the fish and vegetables.

Bring soup to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may need to add more salt (likely), lime or lemon juice, paprika, pepper, or chili flakes to get the soup to the desired seasoning for your taste.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice or with crusty bread

For pictures of these dishes check out the slideshow and video.

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