Thursday, February 8, 2018

Bouillabaise à la Daytona Beach Shores

I am not a cook. Yet while reposing on the chaise longue by the pool today after my bike ride to the City Limit of Daytona Beach and back along the beach, I was suddenly gripped by the idea of making a fish soup or what in more enlightened circles is called a "bouillabaisse".  What I had in mind was really just a variation upon my evening meal - fish and salad - but cooked. And with a mixture of seafood (I used fresh shrimp, cod and salmon filets cut up into pieces) and spiced it up with Costa Rican hot sauce.  Otherwise the only additives were Kosher salt, fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and white wine vinegar. Oh, and pomergranate juice (to add what is seemingly a statutory requirement for a hint of sugar).  For the veggies I used diced green pepper, radishes, white onion, white cabbage, vine ripened tomatoes, celery and zuchinni spirals.  And there was a pound of ground chuck (the stuff with the highest fat content).  Threw it all into a pot, simmered the meat and veggies first, then added the seafood and a box of tomatoe/basil stock. Presto! Bouillabaise á la Daytona Beach Shores!

I didn't add clams or shellfish of any kind.  Didn't want the bother.  Though I did have to peel the fresh shrimp (a hassle I will avoid next time).  And I was tempted to buy some lobster tails (but they're messy too), so No!  If I were preparing this for a social occasion I would be sure to have bought some bread or preferably made garlic bread. Otherwise it's a complete meal as far as I'm concerned.

This peasant type of meal invites a robust red wine naturally.  Fruit for dessert is all that is required.  All in all it's a great way to clean up the refrigerator! This is consistent with the origin of bouillabaisse - a stew made by Marseille fishermen using the fish which they were unable to sell to restaurants and markets.  What I like about it is that it's prepared in one pot - and at the same time.  I certainly won't go to the extent of serving the broth and fish separately, with or without bread.  For me it's strictly galley service, nothing posh (with apologies to Julia Child). If ever I intend to put on airs it will be restricted to adding pistils of saffron.

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