Preparation time 1 hour
Cooking time 2 hours
Julia Sedefdjian calls this version of bouillabaisse, ‘bouillabaieta’ in honour of her restaurant Baieta. Some of the fish used are only available in Mediterranean countries, but you can substitute them with local varieties.
- 2kg (4lb 6oz) rock fish (red mullet, scorpion fish, conger eel)
- Olive oil, salt, pepper, fleur de sel
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
- 2 bulbs of fennel
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 carrot
- Juice of one lemon
Filleted Mediterranean fish
- 600g (1lb 5oz) monkfish
- 800g (1lb 12oz) John Dory
- 800g (1lb 12oz) scorpion fish
- 500g (1lb 2oz) cuttlefish
For the potato
- 4 large potatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 10g (1⁄3 oz) of powdered saffron
For the rouille (sauce)
- 1 potato, cooked and mashed
- 50g (1¾ oz) crushed garlic
- 50g (1¾ oz) sunflower oil
- Juice of half a lemon
For the croutons
- 1 baguette
- 1 clove of garlic
For the fennel paste
- 5 bulbs of fennel
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
- 1 stalk of thyme
1Gut and clean the rock fish. Place them in a casserole and season with a little olive oil, garlic and thyme, and then add the sliced tomatoes, the fennel, the celery and the carrot to the pot. Pour over enough water to cover the fish.
2Bring it quickly to the boil and then turn down the heat and cook on a low heat for an hour and a half. Give it a stir, then pass the mixture through a sieve, and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
3Cut the filleted fish into 40g (1½ oz) pieces. Cook them in the fish soup for around four minutes and then scoop out the fish.
4Dice the large potatoes into 2cm cubes and boil them in some of the fish soup with half of the saffron for 15 minutes.
5To make the rouille (or sauce), mix the cooked and mashed potato with the crushed garlic, the rest of the saffron and the salt and pepper. Then whisk in the sunflower oil and add the lemon juice.
6For the croutons, cut the baguette into 1cm-thick slices, toast them and then rub them with the clove of garlic. Set aside.
7To prepare the paste and fennel slices, finely slice the fennel using a mandolin, keeping the slices in iced water. Thinly slice the rest of the bulbs. Sweat them in the olive oil and the thyme, covered, for 30 minutes until soft.
8Season them and process in a blender with olive oil until you have a smooth paste.
Using a slotted spoon, in each bowl place some fennel paste, four cubes of saffron potato and two pieces of each fish. Spoon in a portion of the rouille, arrange the fennel slices and add a drop of olive oil and a pinch of fleur de sel.
Pour the fish soup over each portion. Serve the rest of the rouille and croutons separately.
Extracted from Taste of France Magazine.
Recipe from Julia Sedefdjian at Baieta.
I make a similar dish, adding a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for a hint of heat.