Featuring a tempting variety of seafood, this is the signature dish at Sean Murphy's Beach Bistro. The recipe can easily be doubled to serve four.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup vertically sliced onion
1/4 cup julienne-cut leek
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup diced plum tomato
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon
Dash of crushed saffron threads
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Pernod or sambuca (licorice-flavored liqueur)
1 cup bottled clam juice
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 littleneck clams
4 ounces grouper or other firm white fish fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 medium mussels, scrubbed and debearded
6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (5-ounce) lobster tail, split in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through garlic); cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato, fennel seeds, thyme, tarragon, and saffron; cook 1 minute. Stir in wine and liqueur; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add juices and pepper; bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes. Add clams and grouper; cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until clams begin to open. Add mussels, shrimp, and lobster; cook 4 minutes or until mussels open. Discard any unopened clams or mussels. Garnish with parsley.
Wine note: In the south of France, where it originated, bouillabaisse is enjoyed with a wine that's considered obligatory and the perfect match: rosé. Rosé will work throughout this entire menu, from the crab cocktail to the crepes. A still rosé would be fine, but why not heighten the pleasure (and romance) and serve a California sparkling rosé? Gloria Ferrer's nonvintage Brut Rosé is smashing at $ -Karen MacNeil
This makes quite a lot; the two of us ate it all with salad and french bread, but it could easily have served three. I followed the recipe exactly except for subbing fire-roasted diced tomatoes for fresh and particularly enjoyed the herb & spice combination and the julienned leeks. With the lobster, it's quite expensive, and I think you could skip the lobster tail without a great loss. Just add a little more shrimp or grouper, or substitute a few scallops. Because I live far inland, all my fish was previously frozen but everything still turned out well. I think the Pernod and the saffron are both essential. I find saffron much less expensive in our little Middle Eastern grocery than anywhere else, so you might try an Indian or Middle Eastern shop first.
This is a five star recipe, but only if you make the garlic aioli that is left out of the Cooking Light version! Read the saga on my blog at:
With the aioli,this dish will impress most anyone.
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