There are better reasons to visit markets than just sniffing the texture-heavy air or listening to the babble of feverish buying and selling.
You go to the market to buy ingredients, to make food.
So, today I will share with you a lovely soup that I made the other night.
I call it Bouillabaisse Créole Royale.
(Your Heroine asked why it was royal... because it has salmon in it. Anyone from British Columbia knows that salmon is the king of fish...)
It is easy and quick to make, which is abnormal for most of the multi-hour/day recipes that your scribe likes to invent, follow (not likely), or extensively modify.
(Your humble scribe knows his writing needs much more work. His cooking, like his legal argumentation, has passed the 10,000 hours of apprenticeship mark soon to be made popular by Malcolm Gladwell).
Ingredients for Bouillabaisse Créole Royale (for the chef and three guests) in 45 minutes:
(Broken down into 5 stages of cooking, but prepare it all first...)
Ingredients for Stage 1
olive oil (couple of big spoons)
2 red onions (minced)
2 large cloves of garlic (minced)
(Hint with the garlic. Always cut garlic in half and if a "seedling" is growing, remove it. The hormones that instigate growth lead to indigestion...)
Ingredients for stage 2
4 hand-sized tomatoes (quartered)
3 or 4 chilli peppers (cut small then pounded or crushed in a mortar and pestle with the seeds)
Ingredients for stage 3
some fresh thyme
freshly ground nutmeg
salt (1 spoon)
green pepper (freshly ground)
Ingredients for stage 4
salmon (100 g) cut large
mackeral (200 g) cut large
red snapper (200 g) cut large
sole (100 g) cut large
scallops (2 large ones) cut in half (against the grain)
crab (3 large legs) cut in half
crayfish (4) whole
prawns (4) whole
Boiling water (enough to cover the fish once it is added)
Ingredients for stage 5
two good finger pinches of fresh saffron
some curry mix
(I used a Madras (OK, Chennai now) style curry powder I made up, you can use your own. I used a Madras style Garam Masala (two small spoons) to which I added some turmeric (two and a half small spoons) some cayenne pepper (3/4 of a small spoon) some amchur powder (dried bitter pomengranate) (1/2 small spoon) and 1 1/2 small spoons of ground coriander)
Method of Preparation (Broken down into the 5 stages)
for Bouillabaisse Créole Royale
Put olive oil into a thick-bottomed pan, warm slowly.
Add onions and garlic, cook gently, say 3 minutes at a medium/low heat.
Add ingredients to pot.
Cook over a medium heat for 7-9 minutes. Skin on tomatoes should have broken and tomatoes should be soft but not fully cooked.
Add ingredients to pot.
Sautee for 2 minutes, stirring (if thyme cooks too long it becomes bitter...)
Add all ingredients, bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes
Add all ingredients, simmer for 5 minutes.
Check salt, adjust if neccesary, and serve.
Bouillabaisse Créole Royale is also nice for the next two days. Please do not warm it up in the microwave, unless you like rubbery fish...
Rye bread is nice with this. Beer is good, so is a fruity, crisp white wine like a drier Gewurtztraminer. Enjoy!
Chris, Regina, and Pommes with a spoon