Bouillabaisse - Defined
Bouillabaisse—A national soup of the Latin race, composed of pieces of fish (boned and skinned), garlic, chopped parsley, bay leaves, tomatoes, leeks, onions, lobster, savory herbs, potatoes, olive oil and saffron, fried, then simmered till done; served in platefuls with slices of toast dried in the oven.
The Provincial fish-stew; is not a very formidable dish to prepare. The cooks of various hotels and restaurants in the southern seacoast towns of the United States make it two or three times a week as a matter of routine and are not pinched to the requirement of any particular sort of fish for it.
The plentiful and almost boneless med-fish (channel bass) is taken for the foundation and any others may be mixed in sparingly. It is required to have, besides the cutup fish, oil, white wine, garlic, leeks or onions or both, saffron or tomatoes, red pepper and herbs.
The onions, leeks, and garlic finely minced are half fried in the oil in a broad saucepan; the pieces of fish put in and the frying continued with a little gentle shaking until the fish is set firm.
Then the wine is poured in, perhaps a little water or stock, the pepper, herbs, salt and saffron, and the stewing go on for an hour without a lid. The liquor or gravy is required to be like thick soup, is either boiled down or thickened with roux, well skimmed, served like a stew, fish and sauce together.
The modem tomato is supplanting the ancient saffron in dishes of this class, and the Creole. bouillabaisse made with tomatoes is acceptable to· everybody.
The eminent sample of the highest class of culinary literature appended here will be found edifying reading. It is from the leading journal in the catering trade:
"Bouillabaisse is a fish soup for which the Provenal fishing towns are famous, chiefly Marseilles. Garlic is essential to it, as to nearly, all the Provincial cookery; but those who eschew garlic may still obtain from it a good idea of how to concoct a savory fish soup.
Thackeray's 'Ballad of Bouillabaisse' has given it a great name in England, but most Englishmen find it disappointing. It is a soup to be mightily loved or to be abhorred.