Bouillabaisse with Mussels, Sole and Snapper
This variation on a Provencal classic is made with mild snapper, sole and tender mussels.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups water
1 (29-ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds sole fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 1/2 pounds mussels, rinsed, beards removed*
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and gently sauté until tender, about 7 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute, or until fragrant. Stir in basil, thyme, bay leaf. Cover pot for 5 minutes to allow flavors of vegetables and herbs to blend.
- Add water, tomatoes, white wine and saffron to pot and bring to a boil; coarsely break up tomatoes with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in sole and snapper; mix gently. Add mussels and cover. Steam for 7 minutes, or until mussels have opened and fish is thoroughly cooked.
- Serve immediately with bread to soak up juices.
Makes 9 servings.
*To remove the brown 'beard' of a mussel, grasp with a paper towel and pull firmly. Discard any opened mussels.