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Show: Nov. 21st
Ingredients: Serves 8-10
2-3 lbs Fish, firm-fleshed, saltwater *
*Fresh fish preparation: Fish are to be scaled or skinned, boned, gills removed and well rinsed. Blot with paper towels.
After the fish have been cleaned, leave the small ones whole and for larger ones, cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces. You may also use the heads and remove them before serving. Hack the 3 crabs into 2-3 pieces and pull out the claws. Rinse all the seafood in a colander and drain well.
**Bouquet Garni: Wrap in cheesecloth: 3 branches dried fennel, 3 branches flat-leaf parsley, 1 branch fresh thyme, 1 small twig of fresh rosemary, 1 piece 2" X 2" dried orange peel and 5 whole black peppercorns. Tie securely with cord, leaving a length left over to tie to the pot handle.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the 3/4 cup olive oil and sauté the 1 1/2 onion and 3 cloves of garlic until transparent. Add the 6 tomatoes and increase the heat. Stir with a wooden spatula until it becomes a paste. Steep the big pinch about 1 tsp threads of saffron for 30 seconds in 1/2 cup of boiling water and add to the pot, using this mixture to deglaze the bottom, remove from heat. Sprinkle in the salt, white pepper and cayenne. Add the bouquet garni and 8 cups of rapidly boiling fish stock. Discard the bouquet garni or you can leave it in being careful not to serve it.
Each guest can then select their desired seafood and place it into the bubbling broth.
Gently lay in the smaller fish then the crab, then the larger fish, then the clams, mussels and prawns.
Carefully remove the selected seafood items. Place in a bowl, ladle the broth over it. Select a slice of French bread and voila! (You can also put bread in bowl first and lay fish and broth over it.
Condiment Garnishes Rouille and Lemon Mayonaise:
Ingredients: Makes 1 and one half cups
Roast 1 bell pepper until the skin is blackened, rub off the skin and trim off ribs and seeds. In a food processor, combine roasted cleaned red pepper, garlic, breadcrumbs and 1/3 cup olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dilute to the consistency of cream with about 1 cup of strained stock.
Most fish disintegrate quickly when simmered, most mollusks and crustaceans toughen. Timing is crucial as to when to put these items in the pot.