An alternative to creamy seafood chowders, this brothy stew is packed with flavour and perfect for cold winter nights. The rouille can be made ahead. Fish stock is easy and inexpensive to make. I save lobster shells to make a big batch and then freeze it, making this meal deceptively easy to whip up.
1large leekwhite and green parts sliced into half moons
128 ouncecan diced tomatoes
1/2bulb fennel and frondsbulbs
1.5tbspfresh dill or parsleyroughly chopped
2inchstrip of orange peel
1/2 tsp saffron
1/2lbhaddock or other white fish
Crusty breadSliced into 1/2 inch slices
1large red bell pepper
1tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh bread crumbs
1/4cupfresh parsley leaves
1/3cup olive oilextra virgin
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion and leek and cook until softened and translucent but not brown.
Add garlic and cook for a minute and then add fennel, fennel fronds, tomatoes, orange peel, saffron, thyme, and fish stock. Heat over medium high heat and once it begins to boil reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the salmon, haddock and shrimp and gently simmer until the shrimp are pink and the fish flakes easily.
While the fish cooks, pat the scallops dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Add the butter and the remain 1 tbsp olive oil to a large frying pan over medium high heat. Once it begins to smoke, add the scallops to the pan making sure they are spaced well apart. Cook for 1.5 minutes on each side. Pressing them against the pan with a spatula will help them to get a golden crust.
Ladle the boullaibaisse into bowls. Arrange the seared scallops over the top and sprinkle with the fresh dill or parsley. Serve piping hot with the crusty bread and rouille.
To roast the red pepper - Preheat the over to 450 Fahrenheit.Cut the red pepper in half, remove the stem, seeds and membrane. Put cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 - 20 minutes until charred and collapsed. Transfer peppers to a bowl, cover with a plate and leave to steam for about 10 minutes, then peel off the skins.
Puree the roasted red pepper and all other ingredients except olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil to for a paste.
Toast both sides of each side of the bread under the boiler for a minute until brown and crisp. Spoon a little of the rouille on top and serve with the bouillabaisse.
To make this even quicker, make the Rouille a day in advance and stored in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge an hour before serving to allow it to come to room temperature.