Bouillabaisse

For 10 to 12 people.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, and 1 leek, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, parsley)
pinch of fennel seeds or branch of fennel
2 lb fish heads and backbones
3 quarts of water
4 cups of crushed tomatoes (about 2 lb)
2 Tbsp of sun dried tomato paste
2 cups of white wine
pinch of saffron/ salt and pepper

Marinate for 2 hours in 1/4  cup of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of Pernod, cut everything in 2 inch chunks:

1 lb of flavorful fish (sea bass, snapper, cod, haddock, or halibut)
1 lb of delicate fish (whiting, perch, sole)
1/2 lb of scallops, 1/2 lb of shrimps
1 lb of monk fish or lobster pieces

For the stock

  • In a large saucepan heat the oil.
  • Add onion, celery, carrots, leek, bouquet garni, fennel.
  • Cook for 5 minutes and add water.
  • Bring to a boil, add the fish bones and simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Pass through a sieve forcing as much liquid as you can from the vegetable mixture.
  • Reduce to concentrate the flavors if necessary.
  • Reserve 1 cup of stock for the rouille.

For the Bouillabaisse

  • To the above stock add the tomatoes, wine, saffron, salt and pepper.
  • Add the marinate juices.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Bring to a boil before adding the monk fish or lobster.
  • Boil briskly 5 minutes.
  • Add the delicate fish and boil again 5 minutes.
  • Finally, add the scallops and shrimp and boil 3 minutes.
  • (Optional) cook the shrimp separately with garlic and parsley, peel them and deglaze the pan with some wine (use the shell of the shrimp in the wine).

Rouille

1 dried hot chili
1 potato, sliced thin
1 cup fish stock, reduced
1/4 cup roasted red pepper
4 cloves garlic and  few leaves of fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil

  • Cook chili pepper and potato in fish stock until tender.
  • Pour into food processor with roasted pepper, garlic and basil.
  • Blend until smooth then add olive oil bit by bit.

Croûtes

  • Preheat oven 325°F.
  • Cut about 24 slices of French bread and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Lightly coat both sides of bread with olive oil.
  • Turn and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Rub each slice with garlic.

Leg of lamb with roasted vegetables

Wipe the leg of lamb dry with paper towels. Make several incisions in the meat and insert garlic cloves a few hours before cooking your meat.  Rub olive oil all around and sprinkle with Herbes de Provence.  A 6-pound leg of lamb will serve about 8 people.

2 large carrots, quartered
2 large onions, quartered
3 unpeeled garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of chicken stock (home made or low sodium)

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Place the leg of lamb in a roasting pan and set in the upper third of the oven.
  • Cook for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Turn oven down to 350°F.
  • Put the vegetables all around the meat and add 1/2 cup of the stock to the roasting pan.
  • Add the rest of the stock during cooking time when needed.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the garlic about half an hour before end of cooking.
  • If you want, insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roast, but without touching the bone.
  • The inside temperature should not be more than 140°F for a nice rosy lamb.
  • Or cook for about 1-1/4 hours until the juices run clear pink when pricked.
  • Do not overcook lamb.
  • Once cooked, transfer the meat to a warm platter and let it rest at room temperature for 15 or 20 minutes before carving.
  • Spoon the fat out of the cooking liquid.
  • Strain the vegetable but press all the juices out.
  • Deglaze the roasting pan, using more stock if necessary.
  • Serve the lamb on hot plates with the following vegetables.

4 zucchinis
2 red, 2 green, 2 yellow peppers
6 carrots
6 onions
a pinch of fresh rosemary leaves
olive oil, salt and pepper

  • Put all the vegetables, cut in chunks, in two large baking dishes coated with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and the rosemary leaves.
  • Douse with olive oil.
  • Put in a preheated 400°F oven.
  • Toss once or twice during cooking time – about 45 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with salt before serving with the roast.

Ratatouille

This recipe is better when done the day before and reheated.

1 medium eggplant, cubed
4 or 5 small zucchinis, sliced
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 lb of tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp basil
sprig of thyme
1/2 tsp of coriander
pinch of crushed aniseed
chopped parsley

  • Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and put let the water drain for 30 minutes.
  • Dry on paper towels.
  • To get the best flavor, you can cook each vegetable separately in a frying pan before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Heat half the oil in a large casserole, add the onion and cook over low heat until soft.
  • In a large pot put the eggplant, zucchinis, tomatoes and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper on it.
  • Mix gently.
  • Spoon the remaining oil on top.
  • Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.

 

 

Mousseline de légumes

4 or 5 shallots, chopped
 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
 4 red peppers, chopped
 splash of vinegar and white wine
 some fresh basil, chopped
 1 cup of reduced chicken broth
 2 Tbsp of dissolved gelatine
 Tabasco, lemon juice, salt and pepper
 1/2 cup of crème fraiche

  • Sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil
  • Add 4 red peppers, cook until tender
  • Deglaze with wine and vinegar, add fresh basil
  • Combine with the chicken broth in which the gelatine is dissolved
  • Add some Tabasco, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
  • Puree until smooth
  • Strain and slowly add the crème fraiche (verify the consistency)

Soupe aux poivrons rouges

3 Tbsp of virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp of unsalted butter
5 large red bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, minced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 1/2 quarts of homemade chicken broth
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
3 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
parsley 

  • Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  • Add the peppers, onion and celery and cook until the onion is soft but not browned.
  • Add the chicken broth and season with salt and cayenne.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the broth into a bowl.
  • Place the vegetables in a food processor or blender with a little of the broth.
  • Purée.
  • Return to the remaining broth and adjust the seasoning.
  • Chill until ready to serve, then stir in the lemon juice and garnish with parsley.

Roasted red peppers

This is a traditional appetizer in the South of France. Often, the peppers are roasted in an open grill. The pieces of wood for the fire are the “sarmens” which are the trimmings of the local vineyard bushes used to add flavor to the peppers.

4 red peppers
1 Tbsp of vinegar (or 1/2 lemon and 1/2 balsamic vinegar)
1 Tbsp of Dijon mustard
6 Tbsp of olive oil
2 garlic cloves and a few sprigs of parsley

  • Roast the peppers under the broiler turning them until all the skin of the peppers is slightly black.
  • Put the peppers in a brown bag or strong plastic bag and close it to retain the moisture. This step will help in peeling off the skin.
  • When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and discard the stem and the seeds inside.
  • Flatten the peppers on a wooden board and slice them very thin.
  • Prepare a vinaigrette sauce: mix the vinegar and the mustard together, slowly add the olive oil. (you can triple the recipe and do this in the food processor)
  • Chopped the garlic and parsley, add to the vinaigrette sauce and pour it over the roasted peppers. Let stand at room temperature before serving on French bread.