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Prep time 1 hr

Cook 4 hrs



The classic Provençal seafood stew, known as bouillabaisse sets the benchmark for various seafood stews found along the Mediterranean coastline. Bouillabaisse is something you don’t make in a hurry. The ingredients are costly, as it requires the very best quality seafood and saffron. The stew should contain at least three varieties of fish, with some shellfish as well, and some versions call for as many as seven varieties of seafood. The luxurious soup base is made from grinding whole fish, that’s been cooked in a broth, through a mouli. The broth is then used to poach the seafood in. The dish is usually served with rouille, a spicy saffron- scented emulsion, and croutons to the side. The beauty of bouillabaisse is that the broth and rouille can be made ahead leaving only the seafood to be cooked in the broth, and croutons toasted on the day of serving. “This dish is all about getting around a table with friends and sharing beautiful food,” says Ben Greeno. “I have many great memories of eating bouillabaisse in France, and it’s a dish you need to make at least once.”

6 assorted fish fillets,
such as dory, snapper, hapuka, halved (trimmings reserved for the soup) black mussels
12 baby potatoes, peeled
and parboiled
Thinly sliced toasted baguette, to serve
6 eschallots, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced 

1 small fennel bulb
2 small garlic head, whole and halved
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil 

1.5 kg snapper bones and fish trimmings, coarsely chopped

1 whole baby snapper
or bream (500g), coarsely chopped
400g crab legs or 1 whole large blue swimmer crab (cut into pieces and coarsely crushed)

100ml Pernod
250ml white wine
40g tomato paste
800g peeled canned tomatoes 

Large pinch of saffron threads
6 thyme sprigs, 1 fresh bay leaf and 1 sprig rosemary, all tied with string

1. For soup base, combine vegetables and garlic with oil in a stockpot and stir over low-medium heat until they are tender (about 10 minutes). Add fish bones, whole snapper, fish trimmings and crab, and stir to combine for a minute. Add wine and Pernod and simmer over medium heat until wine is almost reduced (about 15 minutes). Add tomato paste, tomatoes, saffron and herbs, and 5 litres of water, and bring to a simmer over high heat, then simmer over low-medium heat until stock is well-flavoured (3 hours).

2. Cool stock briefly, then pass mixture through a mouli, or large colander, or chinoise, pressing on all the solids. Discard solids, then strain mixture again through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Reduce stock over medium heat until it is reduced by two-thirds (about 11⁄2 hours). Season to taste and reserve until required.

3. Heat soup in a wide saucepan over medium heat to
a simmer. Add mussels and potatoes and cook until mussels open (2-3 minutes), then set mussels and potatoes aside in a serving dish. Add fish fillets to broth and simmer until just cooked (2 minutes). Transfer to serving dish and ladle the broth on top. Serve bouillabaisse with croutons and rouille on the side.



Recipe Ben Greeno

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