Monday, March 26, 2007

A delicious wine for a great bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse is Marseille's traditional fish stew. The word comes from the Provençal bolha-baissa which means boil and reduce. It is served with toasted bread slices spread with a spicy garlic mayonnaise called rouille or rust. I never tried to make one, thinking that the recipe was too complicated and that I could never find the right fish in California.

But last week, a friend of mine showed me her simplified recipe. Her bouillabaisse ended up being rich in flavor and surprisingly easy to prepare. First, make a fish broth with fish trimmings (such as fish frames and fish heads). This can be done ahead of time. Then, cook onions, garlic, tomatoes, leeks, fennel in olive oil. Add orange peel, fennel seeds, bay leaf, saffron, and the fish broth. Let it boil and reduce. Finally, strain the soup, add fish fillets (halibut, red snapper), scallops, then mussels. Serve with parsley, croutons, and rouille.

With the bouillabaisse, we had a white from the Languedoc, the 2005 Bergerie de l'Hortus Classique Blanc. Domaine de L'Hortus is a 60 hectare estate located in the valley between the Pic Saint Loup and the Montagne de l'Hortus. Bergerie de l'Hortus is the domaine's second label. Made with young vines, the wine was an unusual blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc. It had a bright golden color with aromas of stone fruits and white flowers. On the palate, it was deliciously lush, ripe, and mouthfilling with a touch of sweetness on the finish. Everybody agreed: it worked wonderfully well with the bouillabaisse.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have also enjoyed it with a dry rose like Domaine Tempier.