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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Gulf Coast Summer Bouilabaisse from Commander’s Palace

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

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.


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