Holiday Bouillabaisse

Holiday Bouillabaisse

During the early winter months when the weather starts to cool off and Louisiana seafood is plentiful, nothing is more satisfying than a bowl of bouillabaisse, a traditional Mediterranean fish stew that was reimagined by early Creole settlers to take advantage of the local bounty. Longtime reader Hazel Gill of Baton Rouge sent us her recipe, which uses redfish, drum, shrimp, crabmeat, and oysters. She regularly serves it during the holidays, much to the delight of her family and friends.

Holiday Bouillabaisse
Serves 4
A delicious seafood stew.
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  1. 1 pound redfish fillets, skin removed*
  2. 1 pound drum fillets, skin removed*
  3. 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  4. 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper, divided
  5. 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  6. 3 cups coarsely chopped yellow onion
  7. 2 cups coarsely chopped green bell pepper
  8. 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  9. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  11. ½ cup unsalted butter
  12. 4 bay leaves
  13. 1 lemon, sliced
  14. 2 cups fish stock
  15. ½ cup white wine
  16. 1 pound medium fresh shrimp,peeled and deveined
  17. 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked free of shells
  18. 24 oysters, shucked
  19. Toasted French bread, sliced
  20. Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
  1. Sprinkle fish with 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon cayenne. In a medium bowl, add tomatoes and juice, and mash until small chunks remain. In another medium bowl, combine onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, thyme, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon cayenne.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion mixture, and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato, bay leaves, lemon, stock, and wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer; add fish, cover, and cook 45 minutes. Do not stir.
  3. Gently stir in shrimp, crabmeat, and oysters, making sure to fully submerge, and simmer 12 minutes. Place a toasted bread slice in each bowl, and ladle soup over. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
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