Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal (Southeast France) stew, typically made with fish and shellfish. Although it was originally made with rockfish, today it’s also made with all sorts of different seafood. For this recipe in particular, I decided to go with lobster and mussels; I like the idea of pairing two foods that are at opposite ends of the price spectrum (lobster = rare & elegant, mussels = common & unglamorous). This dish is paired with my lobster stock recipe, so be sure to check that out since you’ll need some stock. Putting this dish together – stock and all – is actually a fairly quick experience: in about 90 minutes you’ll have a recipe that will have your dinner guests swooning.
Don’t let the assumed costs of buying lobster deter you. If available in your area, live lobsters are surprising affordable when compared to the going rate at a seafood restaurant. And really, sometimes you can’t put a price tag on eating a rich, classic meal in the comfort of your own home.
Also, don’t forget that I’m hosting a giveaway this week; click here for a chance to win two live 1.5 lb lobsters from lobster.com ($65 value)! The giveaway is limited to continental US residents and ends midnight, Saturday, Feb 8th, 2014. Good luck!
Lobster and Mussel Bouillabaisse
1 quart lobster stock
tail meat and claws of 1 or 2 lobsters, partially cooked (see lobster stock recipe)
2 pounds live mussels (~50)
3 tbsp butter, ghee, or olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
1 pinch (~10 strands) saffron
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 6.5oz can chopped clams
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped chives to garnish
lemon slices for serving
2. In a dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the garlic. Sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds, then add the onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes, then add the stock, tomatoes, thyme, parsley, saffron, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low; simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Increase the heat to medium, then stir in the can of chopped clams, liquid included. Once it starts bubbling, add the mussels, cover, and simmer until the mussels are mostly open, about 3 minutes. Add the lobster meat and claws, cover, and simmer until the lobster is opaque and the mussels are fully open, about 1 more minute.
4. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve with lemon slices.