Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thai Bouillabaisse

thai bouillabaisse

2 - 6 servings per week of seafood is recommended, says the Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid.  I like seafood and would be happy consume it twice a week, and go vegetarian for the remaining meals.  Because I don't prepare meat or poultry at home, my husband on the other hand, would prefer to eat seafood 9 times per week (weekdays lunch and dinner) and then go carnivore when we dine out on the weekends.  Marriage is about compromise, right?  So for the last 6 months I have been upping the ante on dishes from the sea -  not to exceed the Anti-Inflammatory Pyramid's allowance but enough to better satisfy my husband's wishes. 

As I set out to make dinner, I was leafing through my myriad of seafood recipes and came upon this one.  A harmonious blend of classic bouillabaisse ingredients with the addition of lite coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger and garlic.  A dish ripe with spices, herbs and aromatics - a dish that is savored one bite at a time - a dish that makes you feel good at the conclusion of your meal.  And that is what this blog is all about - feeding your body with foods that satisfy, nourish, and make you feel good afterwards.

Thai Bouillabaisse

2 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 T peeled, finely minced ginger
1 stalk of lemongrass, leaves removed and stalk thinly sliced
4 c low sodium vegetable broth
3 c lite coconut milk
1/2 c dry white wine
2 T fish sauce
1 t sambal oelek {Chinese chili sauce}
large pinch of saffron
20 small mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
1/2 lb. medium shrimp, shelled, deveined, tails removed, cut in half
1/2 lb skinless salmon fillet, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 lb vine ripened tomatoes
2 T cornstarch
1/3 c fresh basil leaves cut into slivers
ground nutmeg
salt, to taste
2 serrano peppers minced with seeds (optional)

In a stock pot, saute olive oil, garlic, shallots, ginger and lemongrass over medium heat for 1 minute.  Stir in  broth, coconut milk, wine, fish sauce, chili sauce, and saffron. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

While the broth is simmering, cut the tomatoes into halves and squeeze out seeds. Discard the tough upper core and cut the flesh into slivers. Set aside.

Transfer 2 cups of the broth to a small pan and bring to a rapid boil. Add the mussels and cover, cooking until the shells open, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer mussels to a bowl using a slotted spoon.  Reserve all mussels shells that have opened and discard any that remain closed. Strain the 2 c of broth through a fine mesh sieve and add back to the stock pot. Bring the soup back to a low boil. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 2 T water. Add the to broth and stir until the soup thickens slightly. Add the shrimp, salmon, tomatoes, basil and nutmeg. Simmer until salmon begins to flake, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasonings {nutmeg and chili sauce} and add salt if you feel the soup needs it. Add the mussels to the soup {still in their shells}. Ladle soup into 4 bowls. Serve minced serrano peppers on the side for this who want some heat.

Serves 4. 
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Source: Adapted from Chopstix

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