Friday, December 31, 2010

♬ Bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise - New Year's Eve 2010 ♬

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I can think of no better way to usher in the New Year than in the company of family and good friends. The New Year here is heralded with a show of fireworks to mark the passage of one year to the next. At midnight Bob and I, and those with us, will stand, glass in hand, to propose a toast to absent friends, those separated from us by time and place, as well as those who have made the final journey home. All are remembered with great joy as we recall the lessons they have taught us and the richness they have brought our lives. I treasure the time they spent at my table and their places there will always be reserved. I include you in their number and wish each of you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Here's to absent friends. Here's to all of you. Happy New Year.

Please don't miss the short film clip at the end of this post. It is the farewell waltz scene from the movie, Waterloo Bridge. It is lovely and quite appropriate for New Year's Eve.

Our holiday season doesn't end until the 2nd of January and that means special dinners are served on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The meals are rarely difficult to prepare, but they always have a festive air about them. I decided to make bouillabaisse this year because I had a new supply of saffron and knew everyone would enjoy the novelty and casual elegance of this dish. The folks at my local fish market were co-conspirators in its creation, and helped to find fish that would provide the flavor I needed without breaking the bank. My version of this dish is based on Julia Child's Bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise. Bouillabaisse is really a fish chowder which contains a variety of fish that is simmered in an aromatic fish broth. The chowder is eaten from shallow soup bowls and often served with toasted bread and a garnish of rouille. Rouille is a rust colored sauce that can be stirred into the bouillabaisse or spread on croutons that usually accompany the soup. For best flavor six or more varieties of fish should be used to make the chowder. That is why it makes no sense to make this dish for fewer than six people. Some of the fish should be firm fleshed and gelatinous, like halibut; some should be tender and flaky like sole. The firm fish hold their shape, and the tender fish partially disperse in the soup. Shellfish are optional, but I truly can't imagine a bouillabaisse without them. The fish can be prepared several hours before cooking and refrigerated until needed. The soup base can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. Once the soup stock is brought to a boil, it will take about 20 minutes to cook the fish. The bouillabaisse should be served immediately with a crusty bread and rouille. It is an altogether lovely meal. The recipe for bouillabaisse and rouille appear below.

Bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Julia Child

Chowder Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped leek
4 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
2-1/2 quarts water
Sprigs of fresh herbs: thyme, parsley, fennel fronds and basil (in any combination)
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 pounds fish heads, bones, trimmings, shrimp shells
1-1/2 pounds each peeled shrimp; wild cod, halibut and sole cut into chunks
1-1/2 pounds scrubbed and debearded or clams
Toasted rustic bread

Chowder Directions:
Heat oil in a tall 6 to 8 quart pot over medium heat; add onion and leek and cook gently until softened. Stir in garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant, then add tomato paste, water, herbs, saffron, salt and fish bones. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat so broth bubbles slowly without boiling. Cook 30 minutes, then strain broth into a large bowl or another pot, discarding solids. Pour broth back into stockpot and bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink, a minute or two. Add rest of the fish and shellfish, cover and simmer until the mussels or clams open. Taste soup and add more salt and freshly ground pepper if needed. Serve bouillabaisse with toasted bread and rouille on the side. Yield: 6 servings.

Rouille Ingredients:
1 roasted and peeled red bell pepper
1 roasted hot red chile pepper or ground cayenne pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small peeled garlic clove
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs or finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Rouille Directions:
Puree everything except olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Slowly add olive oil while processing to form a paste.

Auld Lang Syne

The Farewell Waltz

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Italian Fish Soup with Fresh Herbs, Fennel, Shallots and Garlic - Karista's Kitchen

Oyster Stew - Seriously Soupy
Icelandic Fish Soup - For the Love of Food
Provencal Seafood Bisque - Simply Recipes
Simple Fish Soup - Tobias Cooks
Swedish Fish Soup - Klutzy Chef
Zuppa di Pesce Alla Napoletana - Memorie di Angelina
Seafood Bourride - Blue Kitchen


Elsa said...

This looks amazing. My husband has been hinting about this for a while, so I will have to try it out. :)

Banana Wonder said...

This is really making my mouth water! I'm studying abroad in Marseilles this summer so I can't wait to try some bouillabaisse from the mother ship. Happy New Year! All the best to you and your family in 2011!

Pondside said...

I loved the romantic clip from Waterloo Bridge - is there a New Year's Eve celebrated so sweetly anywhere?

Faith said...

Ahhh Vivien Leigh! I dont think anyone does the profile kiss like she does :) I loved the clip and the bouillabaisse looks so festive! Happy New Year Mary!

Don't Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys! said...

Mary, Mary! Bouillabaisse is a favorite of mine and yours looks absolutely delish! Happy New Year, Indeed!

Cyberpenguin said...

This looks heavenly. This hearty soup is perfect for winter & ringing in the new year. :) Wishing you a very happy 2011!

Priya Suresh said...

Wishing u a happy and prosperous new year to u and ur family.., bouillabaisse looks extremely delicious..

nesrin said...

Frohes neues Jahr!

Martha said...

How perfect was the Waltz!

I've not made bouillabaisse because good fish is hard to come by on the prairie. I have had it though and it is delicious and what a great dish for New Year's Eve!

Big Dude said...

I love this dish and while I've ordered it often I've never made it. Yours looks outstanding. Happy New Year.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

It has been a pleasure following you on this culinary journey in 2010 mary. I look forward to all that the New year promises. happy New Year!!!!

Rita said...

What a great way to celebrate New Year's eve. Always wanted to make this illustrious soup; thank you for sharing. Wishing you only the best for 2011 my dear Mary.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

We have had the privilege of eating this fabulous soup in the old quarter of Marseilles in a waterfront bistro with dear friends who had picked us up at the Marseilles airport.

What a fabulous recipe to end the year. Happy new year Mary.

From the Kitchen said...

And I raise a glass to you, my friend. See you next year!


Nammi said...

hi mary , just stopping buy to wish you a very happy new year :)

The Blonde Duck said...

Happy New Year!

Kim said...

I went once to Marseille and I ate boullabaise 2 times... It was so good. Your's seem as good as the one I ate. Hapy New Year, Mary.

Tasty Trix said...

Anything with saffron is a truly special way to begin the New Year. Happy 2011!

Claudia said...

What a delicious way to end one year and usher another in. Vivien Leigh was truly incandescent and the scene is impossibly romantic in the best possible way. Happy New Year, Mary. May 2011 bring you all good things.

FOODESSA said...

Marseille is actually where I had my very first memorable Bouillabaisse. Thanks for posting the recipe.

Mary, I quickly passing to wish you a fabulous New Year ahead ;o)

Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,

Unknown said...

As always, this looks amazing, Mary!
I love the video clip too.. great way to end the year :)
Happy New Year to you and your family! May 2011 be filled with love and blessings!

PeggyR said...

That sounds wonderful! Happy New Year!

June said...

Yum! What a wonderfully appropriate last meal of the year from the land of beauty & bounty. Best wishes Mary for a healthy and happy new year, and thank you for sharing your blessings with all of us.

Ginny Hartzler said...

What a wonderful and yummy picture you captured! Your video did make me swoon just a bit, Mary. The remembrances of those movies, the sweetness and romance. Nothing like the outright sex on all the shows today, so tawdry and tacky!! It has truly been wonderful getting to know you this year, and I hope your New Year is blessed with peace, joy, and many new and successful recipes to share with all of us.

Katerina said...

Happy New Year to you and your family Mary! What a beautiful dish to say goodbye to this year.

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

Mary, first of all, love bouillabaisse and order it whenever possible. Have not made it myself, yet. And the secondly, you are the romantic, aren't you? Love that old movie clip. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year to you and the Silver Fox. Looking forward to seeing what is in your kitchen in 2011.

cottage garden farmer said...

The film clip is lovely, so romantic. All the best for 2011

Cynthia said...

Dearest Mary, a very blessed New Year to you and your family.

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

That's a lovely dish and it must be very tasty with all the seafood in it. A very Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family!

D said...

Oh Mary, we have not had a good Bouillabaisse for several years... not sure what that is all about. ;)
We will definitely try this one.

Happy New Year and many blessings for 2011 for you and Bob.

Julie said...

What a beautiful New Year's celebration! We're celebrating with our best friends and will too toast those not with us!

It's been such a pleasure getting to know you in 2010. Here's to you, Mary! Happy New Year!

Unknown said...

happy new year

Becky said...

Mary, happiest of New Years to you! I wish you health and happiness in the coming year.

Joanne said...

I am so happy to have gotten to know you and your food this year Mary. The bouillabaisse looks fantastic! Happy new year!

cocoa and coconut said...

As you said, this would be great with crusty bread. It is a perfect dish for New Year! Also, I really think your toast to your friends is so touching. It is a good thing to think of others at this time.

I want to wish you a Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing more of your diverse and yummy dishes in 2011 Mary. said...

This is totally my kind of dish, I had garlic shrimp for new years but I think this would have been better :-)

I love seafood and fish, YUM!!

Faith said...

I agree, this lovely dish would be the perfect way to ring in the New Year, Mary! It looks truly delicious. I'm wishing you and yours a very happy New Year!

That Girl said...

I agree that a new year with food and family is the way to go.

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