While I was at work yesterday I got the idea to make bouillabaisse for dinner. I couldn’t wait to get home and cook it while listening to the Beastie Boys B Boy Bouillabaisse! (Because I’m crazy!) While I was stuck at work, I mulled it over (and over) in my mind, trying to decide the best way to go about it. I knew the basic ingredients I’d be working with…fennel, potatoes, saffron, white wine, a bit of orange juice, some rosemary & thyme. Then I decided to add beans. But what kind? Black bean bouillabaisse is very fun to say. White beans seemed more suited to white wine and herbs, and more generally provencal-esque. Then it hit me! Bouilabaisse is a mixture of all different kinds of bits and pieces of seafood. So why not several kinds of beans?!? I ended up using black and white. I wish I’d used fava as well – I will next time. I think kidney beans would be good, too. You could use pretty much anything you like. I have to confess that I use canned beans. We’re very lucky, in this area, to have a large variety of very good canned beans. I just can’t plan ahead well enough to account for soaking and cooking time. But I’m sure it would be even better if you took the time to cook the beans as well.
This is quick and easy to make, and only gets better and more flavorful as you let it sit. I served it with herbed semolina dumplings, which were a perfect match for ultimate warmth and comfort on a very cold December evening. (recipe coming soon!)
Here’s B Boy Bouillabaisse. I should warn you that it’s sweary and snotty. Give it a miss if you don’t appreciate those qualities in your Bouillabaisse-cooking music.