Cook to impress with this recipe for that favourite French seafood soup, bouillabaisse. Fill your home with mouth-watering aromas then serve it up to your lucky guests with some crusty bread, a well-dressed salad and a glass or two of fine wine.
24 kipfler potatoes (small)
1 litre fish or chicken stock, plus extra to par-boil potatoes
2 pinches of saffron
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, finely sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
10 coriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 fennel bulb, quartered and sliced
zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tin peeled tomatoes, strained and crushed
1 kg mussels, debearded
500 g clams (vongoli)
16 tiger prawns
1 kg fish fillets (flathead, trevally, monkfish), cut into 4 cm pieces
8 shucked oysters
1 cup chopped herbs (parsley, dill, chives, tarragon and fennel)
4 garlic cloves
small pinch of saffron threads
2 egg yolks
pinch of sea salt
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 kg fish bones (no gills or guts, John Dory and flathead river fish do not make good stock)
3 sprigs parsley
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1 glass white wine
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To prepare fish stock, gently fry the carrot, celery and onion. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain through a fine strainer. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for a couple of months.
To make rouille, in a pestle and mortar grind the garlic, saffron, salt and yolks to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and gradually drizzle in the oil finish with the vinegar and check seasoning.
To make the bouillabaisse, par-boil the kipfler potatoes in some fish stock with a pinch of saffron and salt.
Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan over a medium heat and fry the onion, garlic, leek, carrot, coriander seeds, cinnamon and star anise. Add the fennel and fry for a further minute. Add the orange juice and reduce to syrup pour over the 1 litre of stock add a large pinch of saffron and reduce by half, add tomatoes and potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the seafood (apart from oysters) and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add the oysters at the last second (reserve the shell to serve the rouille in).
Finish with the chopped herbs and orange zest. Adjust the seasoning and serve with the rouille in oyster shells, crusty bread and dressed rocket leaves.