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Marin bouillabaisse hearty fish stew with French roots.

A well-structured broth lends subtle dimensions to a good fish soup. Fred Halpert learned this lesson in France when he studied to become a professional chef. Now he applies the lesson and adds a Western touch to create his own version of bouillabaisse. Halpert makes the aromatic broth in advance and brings it to the table in the pan-with partially cooked potatoes-to simmer over a portable burner. Then he adds the tender chunks of white fish to cook quickly while guests sip wine and develop appetites.
 Fred's Home-style Bouillabaisse
 Toasted Baguette Slices
 Green Salad
 Dry Sauvignon Blanc Mineral Water
 Chocolate Truffies Espresso

You need fresh fish trimmings to make the broth; it's a good idea to let the fish market know several days in advance what you want. Be sure to rinse trimmings well to get rid of fishy aromas. The broth and aioli (garlic mayonnaise) can be made a day ahead. Several hours before dinner, toast baguette slices and prepare salad greens; use an oil-and-vinegar dressing. If you prefer red wine, consider a soft French Bandol or a dry California rose; the soup can stand up to it. Fred's Home-style Bouillabaisse
 Bouillabaisse broth (recipe follows)
 2 dozen small (about 1 1/2-in.-wide)
 thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed
 3 pounds skinned and boned firm
 white-flesh fish, such as halibut,
 sea bass, lingcod, monkfish, or
 rockfish (choose 1 or several)
 2 dozen small (about 3-in.-Iong;
 about 3/4 lb. total) mussels, well
 scrubbed, with beards pulled off
 Aioli (recipe follows)
 Toasted baguette slices 1-lb. loaf)

Bring broth to boiling over high heat. Cut potatoes in half and add to broth. Cover and simmer until just tender when pierced, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse fish, drain, and cut into 1-inch chunks. When potatoes test just tender, add fish and mussels to pan. Cover and continue to cook until mussels pop open and fish is no longer translucent but is still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 8 to 10 minutes. Ladle soup into wide bowls. Offer aioli to add to taste to soup and, if desired, to spread on toast. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Per serving: 479 cal.; 39 g protein; 12 g fat; 52 g carbo.; 475 mg sodium; 52 mg chol. Bouillabaisse broth. Cut 4 medium-size (about 2 lb. total) onions in quarters and put in a 10- to 12-quart pan with 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil.

Trim stems and discolored areas from 2 heads fennel (about 2 lb. total); rinse fennel and chop. Add to pan along with 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed; 1 cup minced parsley; and 1 teaspoon saffron threads or 1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron. Stir often over medium-high heat until onion is limp, about 25 minutes. Rinse, core, and quarter 8 medium-size firm-ripe tomatoes (about 4 lb. total); add to pan. Stir often until tomatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes.

Rinse well and drain about 3 pounds fish bones, fish trimmings, and fish heads (gills removed) from lean white-flesh fish such as rockfish, lingcod, or perch. Add fish pieces to pan with 2 quarts water, I cup dry white wine, and 3 or 4 thin slices of lemon. Boil, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by about a third, about 1 1/2 hours. Let stand until mixture is cool enough to touch. Set a colander in a large bowl; line colander with damp cheesecloth and pour broth mixture into cloth. Gather cloth edges and twist tightly to squeeze out as much liquid as possible; discard residue. Skim and discard any fat on broth; measure broth and pour into a 4- to 5-quart pan. If needed, add water to make 10 cups; or boil, uncovered, over high heat until reduced to 10 cups. If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill broth in pan up until next day; discard any remaining fat. Rebeat to continue.

Aioli. Immerse 1 large egg in water heated to just below boiling point (about 200 deg); hold at this temperature for 3 minutes. Break egg and scoop into a blender or food processor; let stand until cool. Add 2 cloves garlic and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice; whirl smooth. With motor on, add 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a thin, steady stream. As mixture thickens, add oil faster. If mayonnaise gets too thick to mix, stir in remaining oil. Add salt to taste. Serve or, if made ahead, cover and chill up to 4 days. Makes about 1 cup. Per serving:96cal.; 0.4g protein; llg fat: 0.4g carbo.; 4.3 mg sodium; 13 mg chol.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Apr 1, 1991
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