- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2009

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough take an unconventional yet intuitive approach to cooking in their recent cookbook, “Cooking Know-How.” They focus on basic techniques and recipe styles, then suggest using them with different ingredients to produce a variety of dishes. In this case, they offer a simple approach to bouillabaisse, a French seafood stew.

No-fuss bouillabaisse
Start to finish: 1 1/2 to 2 hours (50 minutes active)
Servings: 6 to 8

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces diced shallots (about 4 shallots)
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon finely minced orange zest
1/2 teaspoon saffron
2 bay leaves
6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) fish broth
2 pounds thick fish fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces (such as halibut, grouper and cod)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
1 batch rouille (recipe below)

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium. Add the shallots, fennel and garlic. Saute until just soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, orange zest, saffron and bay leaves. Cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, stirring often, about 6 minutes.

Add the fish broth and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add the fish and shrimp, then return to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes.

Season with salt and stir in the rouille until thickened.

Rouille
Start to finish: 5 minutes
Makes 1 batch

2 whole jarred roasted red peppers
3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil

In a food processor, combine the peppers, garlic and salt. Process until smooth. Add the bread crumbs and process again until fairly smooth. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream.

Recipes from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s “Cooking Know-How,” Wiley, 2009

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