We wanted an easy, healthy meal that would warm us up after being outside in the cold rain. The kids love to dip bread into their soups so we toasted up some french bread to go along with the Bouillabaisse recipe I found in the Ultimate Cookbook. This recipe is usually better the next day so you can enjoy it as leftovers or make it ahead of time and refrigerate it. The saffron and other herbs really infuse after 24 hours.
I recommend having the Snapper skinned at the store. I have not perfected the technique and the snapper meat did not want to pull from the skin. I cooked the skin in the Bouillabaise and the meat fell right off but it was a pain spooning the skin out afterwards.
To make the Bouillabaisse, chop the garlic, onions and tomatoes. Chop the garlic first so it can sit out while you chop the rest since it is suppose to have more cancer fighting properties after resting. Saute the garlic and onions in 1/4 cup of olive oil. When they are fragrant, add the flour and stir until smooth. Add the 2 cups of water. Then add the tomato, 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (try to but them in a glass container), 1/2 cup white wine, 1 bay fresh bay leaf, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 red pepper crushed flakes or powder, handful of fresh chopped thyme, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 to 1 tablespoon paprika and a generous pinch of saffron. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. Stir occassionally.
Note: The Ultimate Cookbook recipe did not have the extra salt or the paprika. We added crushed tomatoes instead of sauce so we needed more flavoring.
Peel the shrimp and devein them. Cut the skinned snapper into bite size pieces. Add the clams or oysters with the juice. Simmer until the shrimp are pink and the snapper is flaky. Simmer on low until ready to serve.
Toast the french bread on broil and drizzle with olive oil. Add some minced garlic for more flavor and antioxidants. Serve warm with plenty of french bread for dipping.
Original Recipe for the Ultimate Cookbook:
Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 40 minutes
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup butter, melted, or olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh tomato
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground saffron
1 pound unpeeled medium-size fresh shrimp
2 pounds red snapper, skinned and cut into large pieces
1 (12-ounce) container Standard oysters, undrained
Toasted French bread slices
Sauté onion and garlic in butter or oil in a large Dutch oven until tender. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in water. Add tomato and next 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Peel shrimp and devein, if desired. Add shrimp, fish and oysters; simmer 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Discard bay leaf. Serve each portion over a 1-inch-thick slice of toasted French bread. Yield: 10 cups.
Per 1-cup serving: Calories 283, fat 8.1 grams, Cholesterol 116 milligrams, Sodium 714 milligrams