Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Les Saint Jaques (ou crevettes) en bouillebaisse

Julia gives a lovely little recipe for scallops or shrimp with Provencal flavors. II 37. I add a little Pernod for that Provence alcoholic licorice flavor (a hint of fresh tarragon in summer will do as well or better).

And I use canned "fire-roasted" diced tomatoes with garlic, which they didn't have in Julia's day. I have no more need to justify using the occasional canned product than Julia needed for canned tomato paste or stock. There. But it's almost as quick in high summer tomato season to chop up some big fresh ones, cutting away as much of the peel as is convenient.

Good bread is always good with soup. Couscous, orzo, or reheated rice, will work too, and can be prepared in the same or less time than the stew.

Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a starter

1/4 cup olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups (combined) yellow onions, scallions, and/or leeks, all sliced very thin.
2 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh herbs or 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence.
1 can (14 ounce) fire roasted tomatoes with garlic, drained, reserving the liquid
3 cups liquid (tomato liquid, clam juice, white wine, or water)
1 pound scallops and/or shrimp (deveined and, if you wish, peeled)
(optional: 1 tablespoon Pernod, Ricard, or other licorice-flavored liqueur)
(optional: Cajun seasoning or pepper flakes)
(Aioli sauce)
  1. Heat a fait-tout over high heat and add the olive oil and onions (or leeks) and garlic mashed in a press. Chop and add the herbs. Reduce the heat to medium and cook three minutes, covered.
  2. Add the drained canned diced tomatoes and the liquid. Cover and boil for three minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp and/or scallops, and the optional Pernod. Season with salt and pepper and Cajun seasoning or red pepper flakes, to taste. Boil two minutes, covered.
  4. Serve in soup bowls, garnished with fresh herbs used in the sauce and/or aioli. Can be served as a simple stew or over over rice, orzo, or couscous.

No comments: