Court-bouillon is a classic French broth used for poaching seafood and infusing it with flavor. For the Cajun version (pronounced roughly "KORR-boo-yawn"), a whole Gulf fish such as redfish or catfish is cooked in rich tomato gravy. Spiked with a piquant green olive salad and spicy tomatoes, Boo's long-simmered sauce has plenty of personality. This dish is a fish-camp favorite because it cooks while everyone snacks and sips and enjoys the party.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium-size yellow onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine
2 (15-oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (such as Rotel), undrained
1 cup shrimp stock or water
1/2 cup Italian olive salad
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (green parts only)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 whole 3- to 5-lb. redfish or similar Gulf fish (such as grouper or drum), scaled, gutted, and trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
How to Make It
Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, and bay leaves, and cook until vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring once or twice, until liquid is slightly reduced, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes and chiles, and shrimp stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in olive salad, scallions, and parsley. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse redfish. Make 5 parallel cuts on each side of fish, slicing into the flesh at an angle and down to the bone, to create 6 fairly even portions. Sprinkle salt evenly on fish, rubbing some salt into the cuts. Place fish in a large roasting pan, and pour half of the sauce over fish. Layer lemon slices on fish, and cover with remaining sauce. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in preheated oven, basting occasionally with pan sauce, until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and stir shrimp into pan sauce. Cover with foil, and return to oven. Cook until shrimp turn pink, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, discard foil, and let fish rest 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.