This recipe came from my friend Robin. He found it on the Internet and made it for a dinner that we had together. I have to say it was DELICIOUS. We didn't really follow the directions for the amount or types of fish used. We "winged it". We used halibut, clams, shrimp, crab and baby octopus. And, I'm pretty sure we used MORE fish than what was called for. So feel free to experiment. But, here is the recipe as he printed it from the Internet. Enjoy!
3 pounds of at least 3 different kinds of fish fillets, fresh or quick frozen (thaw first)
1/2 cup Olive oil
1-2 pounds of Oysters, clams, or mussels
1 cup cooked shrimp, crab, or lobster meat, or rock lobster tails
Note: you can really use any types of seafood that you would like. We even added baby octopus
1 cup thinly sliced onions
4 Shallots, thinly sliced OR the white parts of 2 or 3 leeks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large tomato, chopped, or 1/2 cup canned tomatoes
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2-inch slice of fennel or 1 teaspoon of fennel seed
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2-3 whole cloves
Zest of half an orange
1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup clam juice or fish broth
2 Tbls. lemon juice
2/3 cup white wine
Sliced French bread
Sauce Rouille (See recipe & Ingredients below)
Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large (6-qt) saucepan. When it is hot, add onions and shallots (or leeks). Sauté for a minute, then add crushed garlic (more or less to taste), and sweet red pepper. Add tomato, celery, and fennel. Stir the vegetables into the oil with a wooden spoon until well coated.
Add another 1/4 cup of olive oil, thyme, bay leaf, cloves and the orange zest. Cook until the onion is soft and golden but not brown.
Add 2 cups of water to the vegetable mixture. Add oysters, clams or mussels (though these may be omitted if desired) and shrimp, crabmeat or lobster tails, cut into pieces or left whole. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cut fish fillets into 2-inch pieces. Add the pieces of fish and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
Add saffron, salt, pepper, clam juice, lemon juice, and white wine. Bring to a simmer again and cook about 5 minutes longer.
At serving time taste and correct the seasoning of the broth, adding a little more salt or pepper if need be, and maybe a touch of lemon juice.
Into each soup bowl place a thick slice of crusty French bread, plain or slightly toasted. Spoon the bouillabaisse over the bread, and about ½ teaspoon of the Sauce Rouille.
Directions for Sauce Rouille:
1 Tbls. hot fish stock or clam broth
2 cloves peeled garlic
1 small red hot pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soft white bread, pulled into bits
1/2 cup olive oil
Put hot fish stock or clam broth into the bottom of a blender. Add garlic and red hot pepper, salt and bread. Blend until very smooth. With the blender still running, add olive oil slowly and stop the blending as soon as the oil disappears. At serving time pass Rouille in a little bowl along with the bouillabaisse. Each serving is about 1/2 a teaspoon that you stir into your soup. Use sparingly like Tabasco.