See Mommy cook?
Mommy is cooking with a toaster.
Mommy is clueless!
Jane and Marion and Flossie and Gulf Coast Gourmet wanted Mommy to be happy!
Be happy, Mommy!
Read this blog and cook.
Cook, Mommy! Cook, Mommy, cook!
Soup comes from nature, Mommy!
Soup is not a cylinder of goop in a can!
Don't reconstitute any more, Mommy!
Cook, Mommy, cook!
Cute Kid. But why is he being trained to eat canned soup? Mommy, a pretty and petite brunette (just out of frame in a 1950s little cotton shirtwaist dress) probably thinks that only Campbell's can make soup. It is so much trouble!! Campbell's likes it that way. Keep on buying those cans of condensed saltwater, Mommy! Soup is easy to make, wonderful to eat and so cheap that we should be eating it every day. Make stock, and then make soup with it. A blender makes it so easy to make "cream of leftover cooked vegetables" that you should never buy another can of soup in your life. Come on, Mommy, help that cute little tyke grow some taste buds -- cook some soup.
|"Are we poor, Daddy?"|
Then what's with the soup?
What a question from your 5-year-old daughter.
"No, honey," I answered. I prepared to launch into a speech about Daddy being gone all the time and how hard that must be for her and some real Father Knows Best head-shrinking.
Sarah cut me short. "Why do we have to eat soup all the time?" Too much reading about Jacques Pepin and his wonderful soup recipes. Time to feed this child a little solid food.
|The King of Squid Salad|
The origins of this dish seem mysterious, but really are not. It is like many good things; it just developed based on what good ingredients were available. Use what's good!
Good fish stock, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, really fresh fish -- what could go wrong? Well, using canned condensed consomme, undiluted, is one wrong move. Also, simmering the fish for 20 minutes seems like a little much for this dish.
The dish is cooked without milk or thickener (This kind of fish soup, chowders made with milk and thickened dishes like gumbo are the three main divisions to my mind). Where did this "boil it up and turn it down" fish soup come from?
|Venus and Mars about to do the Big Nasty.|
The real story -- how Bouillabaisse was invented
|An actual shot of Tessio and Clemenza|
selling Bouillabaisse. French Seafood
Restaurant owner with his back to the
camera is about to steal the recipe.
*Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.
I took a few liberties with this dish. OK, more than a few. I don't use canned beef broth. It tastes good, but it is not fish stock -- and it is so salty, it makes my feet swell up. Also, I used snapper rather than redfish. Use what you have, and use it fresh!
The original recipe is in red. My foolishness is in black
1 lb raw shrimp peeled and deveined Shell, peel and devein. You can also use mussels, oysters, sea urchin (who am I kidding-- I've never seen a sea urchin), spiny lobster -- whatever you have that is not oily and is fresh.
3 Tbs olive oil Sing together now: Thank heaven for olive oil -- for without it where would little....Oh! I just recalled Maurice Chevalier was a Frenchman. Sorry.
3 onions thickly sliced Can be a pretty strong onion. Save the sweet onions for the next dish.
2 cloves garlic, crushed or 1/4 tsp. garlic puree Unless you are cooking on a space station you should not use garlic puree. Remember, this book was written when you could not get heads of garlic in every grocery (true!). Use the garlic you always keep on your cutting board.
|Fillet the fish. This and cutting bread are |
the only things an electric knife is any good for.
1 shallot, snipped I know what a snipped cat is, but I'm not sure what a snipped shallot is. Use one and chop it coarsely.
2 cans condensed consomme undiluted No. Don't do this. Use fish stock.
2 tsp. salt This is the white granular stuff which you should not put in your coffee. That would be the other white granular stuff.
3/4 tsp. pepper Grind it fresh
1 generous dash cayenne Buy little containers of cayenne. The great big ones will lose their punch if they sit around too long.
1 bay leaf in your spice cabinet right next to the garlic powder and Tabasco sauce.
3/4 tsp. dried basil Use fresh
|You need a sharp thin knife to skin the fillet|
2 cups cooked quartered potatoes Use Yukon Golds or something similar.
1/3 cup dry red wine For extra flavor, Clemenza recommends tossing it into the pot right out of the glass he's drinking -- that's up to you.
1/2 cup minced parsley Use curly parsley
2 tomatoes cut into strips No need to take the seeds out.
|Tomatoes. Fresh from the Garden|
How to Do it
In oil in dutch oven, saute onions, garlic and shallot for about 10 minutes until tender but not brown. So far so good. Don't brown these ingredients like you did with gumbo. Cook them gently. BUT here add some fresh, if you have it, tomato puree. (Roast ripe tomatoes, take them from the roasting pan with a slotted spoon. Grind them in a blender and remove the skins and seeds with a Foley food mill.) if you have only canned, use that. About 1 cup. This is where you'll add the fennel if you have it. Slice it thin, from top to bottom.
add consomme, This has got to be a typo in the original. It must say add fish stock, between four to six cups. How much you need depends on how much fish you have. This is not science, but in enough to poach all the fish.
salt, pepper, cayenne, bay leaf, basil and marjoram. Cover. Heat until boiling. Sure. This will work. Remember, this is seafood -- not oxtails -- boiling for hours is not going to make it any better. Taste and season. Here add a little anisette if you don't have fennel. It will amaze you how it rounds out the flavor of this dish.
Add fish, shrimp and potatoes, cover; simmer about 20 minutes.
Not so fast there, frycook. You've got to poach the fish in the soup, and do it carefully. Don't dump everything in, set the timer for 20 minutes and watch the end of Law & Order. Slower cooking pieces go in first and the quick-cooking things go in last. If you use oysters, they will spend about a minute in the liquid before serving. Add them last.
Add wine, parsley and tomatoes. Stir gently. Keep warm until ready to serve
1 loaf of French Bread You'll need really firm bread. I like to put a little Rouille (see post on Shrimp for recipe) on top of the bread.
Next -- The Best Salad In The Western World.