American Bouillabaisse recipe

American Bouillabaisse

Spring is here, but mother winter is still trying to stick around for just a couple of more weeks.  So before we lay in the park with our tossed salad made of vibrant kale and quinoa, let’s snuggle up with an American twist to a European classic. This American Bouillabaisse stew was a popular dish while I was the chef at Bateaux NY.


American Bouillabaisse

1 C of Extra Virgin Olive Oil(EVOO)
8-10 fennel seeds
3 dry bay leaves
1 Head of fennel (sliced thin)
1 Lg. Spanish onion (peeled and sliced thin0
3 cloves of fresh garlic (peeled and sliced thin)
5-8 strands of saffron
1 C of dry white wine
16 oz of peeled can tomatoes
2 qt. of store bought vegetable stock
4 Tbs. of chopped fresh thyme
1 C of Fresh Basil chopped basil
8 Littleneck Clams
1 pd. of Prince Edward Island Mussels
10  Large Shrimp
2 Lg. white Potatoes (peeled, diced and cooked until soft)
salt and pepper to taste

¼ C of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ C of fresh Chopped herbs
1 French Baguette Sliced on a bias 1 inch thick

1.    Thoroughly wash clams and mussels. (Only buy clams and mussels that are closed. Dispose of any clams or mussels that are not fresh and cook the day of purchase) once mussels and clams are washed. Set aside in refrigerator.
2.    Peel shrimp and set aside in the refrigerator.
3.    Pre-heat oven to 375.
4.    Heat an 8 quart stock pot on medium-low; add ¾ of EVOO, then fennel seeds, bay leaves, fennel, onion and garlic in that order. Allow for vegetables to become soft, do not brown.
5.    While vegetables are cooking slightly coat the bread on one side with a ¼ C of EVOO and coat with 2 Tbs. of thyme.
6.    Place on a baking sheet with herbs face up. Bake until slightly brown. When crostini is done; remove from oven and set a side on stove.
7.    When vegetables are soft. Add saffron and stir then add white wine and allow reducing about 3 minutes.
8.    Add tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and test seasoning.
9.    Add clams and cover. Allow for Calms to open, then add mussels,  shrimp and potatoes. Allow to cook until mussels are open and shrimp is cooked. (Don’t over cook, when mussels are opened the stew is done)

Separate American Bouillabaisse stew in bowls and garnish with crostini.