Ah! What bliss the last three days have been! A fabulous eat-acation at home, a journey through fresh, classic and new, much holding hands and walking around the beckoningly empty city in gorgeous weather are we were fortunate to have.. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better summertime weekend!
We decided to spend the three day weekend at home, together, as that simple pleasure has not been much of a norm lately for us. And, as always, with us, once the location was decided, our minds turned to food.. :)
A leisurely walk through Chelsea Market on Saturday, had us feasting on fresh oysters that tasted of the sea at the Lobster Place and bringing back more fruits de mer to delight over many subsequent meals. We picked up monk fish, gorgeous dorade (sea bream), mussels, bay scallops and sea scallops.
Over the next two days we devoured them as Lemongrass Poached Dorade with Lavender Cream Sauce (made by Mr. FSK), Provencal Bouillabaisse and simple Seared Scallops with Squid Ink Pasta and Truffled Pesto.
The dorade dish made by hub was inspired by Amelia's recipe from here with the lavender that lovely Barbara sent me.
The bouillabaisse was something that I love and have always wanted to make but had not attempted before because it is .. well.. tedious. The leisure of the weekend inspired me and, yes, it does take a while but was indeed fabulously flavorful. My recipe is an adaptation of the Provencal version, slightly simplified in method and ingredients. I have shared my recipe here.
I also made the fruit desert (recipe is posted here) below over the weekend and it made a lovely end to many a meal. I'll share the recipe for that in another post soon. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and Happy Week ahead! :)
2/3 lb monk fish, cubed
1/4 lb bay scallops
1/2 lb mussels
3 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and de-seeded
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp saffron soaked in 2 T hot water
1/2 tsp saffron soaked in 1/4 cup warm dry white wine
2-1/2 cups fish/lobster stock ( I used lobster bouillon)
2 T + 1/3 cup olive oil
3-4 stalks of summer savory
2 stalks rosemary
2 T parsley, minced for garnish
Salt and pepper as needed
Combine salt, 1 clove garlic (minced),2 T olive oil and saffron in water with the water and marinate the monk fish and scallops in it for about an hour in the fridge.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat up the 1/3 cup of oil. Saute onions, garlic and celery for 10 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes, stock and fennel. Tie the summer savory and rosemary with a string and toss into the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer covered on low for 45 minutes to an hour.
Remove pan from heat and strain the mixture. From the strained vegetables, pick out the tomato-y pieced and pulse into a puree. You may get some of the celery and onion, it's ok! Bring the broth back to a rolling boil and stir in the tomato puree. If you are using any oily fish like mahi-mahi, add that first and cook. Then add the firm fleshed fish.
I had only monk fish, which is firm fleshed, so I started with it. Cook the fish for a few minutes until almost done. Then add the scallops and cook another two minutes. Finally.Add mussels and cook another a couple of minutes.
You can either strain out the fish, divide among bowls and then add the broth over or just ladle out the broth assuming you are going to be equitable with the seafood! :) Sprinkle fresh parsley over the bouillabaisse and serve with fresh bread and rouille (recipe below).
Saffron-Garlic Mayonnaise (Rouille)
3 T crusty bread
1/4 cup fish broth
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp chili flakes
pinch of saffron threads
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper as needed
soak the bread in fish broth till it completely soaks up all the liquid. Squeeze the bread to press out excess liquid. Process the broth soaked bread, yolk, chili flakes, pepper, salt, saffron to a smooth mixture. Slowly pour in the olive oil while the blender is still on until it emulsifies. Pour into bowl and serve with sliced bread.