Gulf Coast Summer Bouilabaisse from Commander’s Palace
Updated: Jan 4
Bouilabassie is a traditional Provencal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille. This stew is traditionally made with 3 different fish. In New Orleans, we replace some of the fish with local seafood; Shrimp, Oysters and Crabmeat. This dish shows up as the soup of the day at Commander’s Palace. It is a great light soup that is usually served in the summertime.
3 stalks Celery, in medium dice
1 medium Onion, in medium dice
2 medium Green Bell Peppers, in medium dice
16 cloves Garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Olive Oil (you may not need it)
Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1 medium head Fennel, in medium dice
2 Bay Leaves
2 quarts Seafood Stock or Chicken Stock
½ pound New Potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 large Tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and cut in medium dice (use canned chopped tomatoes if fresh ones are out of season)
½ pound Fish Fillets, in large dice (use any saltwater fish, such as Flounder, Sea Trout, Redfish, or Snapper)
½ pound medium Shrimp, peeled
1 pint shucked Oysters
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Tarragon or Basil
½ pound Crabmeat, any variety, picked clean of shell
1 bunch Green Onions, thinly sliced
Place the celery, diced onion, peppers, and garlic in a large stockpot. Turn the heat to high, stir, and cook until the vegetables give up their liquid and are tender, about 8 to 9 minutes. If the vegetables start to stick, add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the fennel and bay leaves, sauté for 1 minute, add the stock and potatoes, and bring to a boil. Skim and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are about half-cooked (test by removing a slice and cutting it). Add the tomatoes, stir, and simmer for about 7 minutes.
Add fish fillets and shrimp, stir, and simmer for about 1½ minutes, or until the seafood looks halfway cooked. Stir in the oysters and herbs. Cook for about 1 minute, until the edges of the oysters curl. Add the crabmeat, stir, simmer, and adjust seasoning. Turn off heat.
Serve in large bowls, and sprinkle with green onions.