A niece gave me an Assumption cookbook last Christmas. This morning, as I was mulling over what to serve for dinner, I checked the recipes in the said book and found one for bouillabaisse. A cousin once told me that he loves the bouillabaisse in Barrio Fiesta or Josephine’s in Tagaytay so I thought to give it a try.

Assumption cookbook recipes are contributed by different alumnae. The bouillabaisse recipe was no exception but the one who submitted it creditedJoy of Cooking as the recipe’s source. So I checked online and found this in, which also cited Joy of Cooking as its source. But as the last portion of the recipe was not quoted in the Assumption cookbook, I didn’t do that. Still the result drew raves from my son who kept saying “Ang sarap nito a.” The recipe:


<1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 finely julienned leeks: use the white portion only
Skin and squeeze the pulp out of and then dice:
4 medium-sized tomatoes
5 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh fennel
1/2 to 1 teaspoon saffron (very expensive)
2 pulverized bay leaves
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
When the oil is hot, add the prepared ingredients above and cook until the vegetables are transparent. Meanwhile, cut into 1- inch dice and then add:
4 lbs. very fresh fish in combination:
red snapper, halibut, pompano, sea perch, scallops; also 1-inch pieces of well-scrubbed lobster, whole shrimp, clams and mussels –all in the shell
You may prefer to leave the fish in 2-inch thick slices and use some of the smaller fish whole. If so, add the thinner pieces or small scrubbed shellfish to the pot slightly later than the thicker ones -> but do not disturb the boiling. Cover the fish with: 2 1/2 cups hot Fumet, (see below), or hot water_>Keep the heat high and force the boiling, which should continue rapid for 15 to 20 minutes.


<Correct the seasoning

To serve, have ready to arrange in the bottom of 8 hot bowls:

3/4-inch slices of French bread

Dry the bread in the oven and brush with: Garlic butter

When the bouillabaisse is ready, arrange attractively some of each kind of fish on and around the bread. You may remove the lobsters from the shell and remove the upper shells for the clams and mussels. Then pour the hot broth into the bowls and serve at once. Or, you may strain the broth onto the bread, and serve the seafood on a separate platter. Plan the meal with a beverage other than wine.

This is the most useful for cooking “au maigre,” on those days when religious observance calls for meatless meals. combine the fumet with vegetables and cream as a base for soup or use it in the sauces or aspics. It will keep for several days, covered, in the refrigerator, or for several weeks frozen.

Melt in a pan:

3 tablespoons butter

Add and cook gently about 5 minutes:

1/2 cup chopped onions or shallots

1/4 cup chopped carrot

1/2 cup chopped celery

Then add:

6 white peppercorns

3 or 4 cloves

1/2 cup white wine or 2 tablespoons vinegar

2 cups cold water

A Bouquet Garni, (see below)

A twist of lemon rind

1 to 1 1/2 lbs. washed fish bones, heads, tails, skins, and trimmings

The fish heads are particularly flavorful, but -> avoid strong-flavored fish trimmings like mackerel, skate, or mullet. Use salmon only for salmon sauce. Shells from crab, shrimp and lobster are delicious additions, but these are usually cooked with bay leaf, thyme and wine rather than with vinegar. Heat until the liquid begins to ->simmer and continue cooking, uncovered, over rather brisk heat, and not longer than 20 to 30 minutes– or a bitter flavor may develop. Add, at the last minute:

Any extra oyster or clam juices

Strain the stock and use in soups or sauces.

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