I wanted to create a more traditional Bouillabaisse and decided to give it a go and I must say I preferred it to my original version. The flavor is amazing and so layered. You keep tasting new flavors as you enjoy it and the fennel really does add a vital element.
I decided against the rouille, as I find the garlic blast can overpower the delicacy of the seafood. If you prefer it, it can certainly be added.
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large Onion, chopped
1 Fennel Bulb, cored and chopped
1 Shallot, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp Garlic, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Thyme
2 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 lb Baby Potatoes, quartered
1 cup White Wine
1 tsp Saffron threads, crushed in palm of your hand.
1 -2 Tbsp Pernod
1 (28-ounce) can diced Tomatoes, juice included
1 quart Seafood or Fish Stock
1 cup/bottle Clam Juice
1 cup/bottle Lobster Juice
1 Tbsp Red Boat Fish Sauce
1/2 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined.
1/2 lb Scallops, halved
1 pound of either Halibut, Hake, Bronzino, Cod or Monkfish, cut in large chunks. So 2 pounds total of at least two types of fish.
2 tsp grated Orange zest
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot, add the onions, fennel, salt, pepper, garlic, shallot and sauté over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until the onions begin to lightly carmelize.
Add the wine, Pernod and the saffron and let it simmer and become fragrant. Add the potatoes, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, cayenne pepper and incorporate. Sauté for a few minutes.
Add the tomatoes, seafood stock, clam juice, lobster juice, fish sauce to the pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes. You want it to more of a thick soup consistency.
Add the fish and bring up to a boil, then lower the heat, add the shrimp and scallops cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit covered for another 5 minutes. Stir in the orange zest, and serve in large bowls with toasted garlic baguette slices.
Note: I really prefer the Bal Harbor brand of clam and lobster juice. I find them at Whole Foods but they are also available online.