Fool-i-ya-baise Seafood Stew

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan

1 teaspoon fennel seed, 1/3 palm

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 leek, sliced lengthwise, then across, 1/2-inch slices, then washed and drained

1 medium onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, split lengthwise, then chopped

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

1 small bundle fresh thyme, sprigs, 4 to 6, left whole

2 pieces orange peel, 3 or 4-inch strips, made with vegetable peeler

1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, 3 handfuls

1 cup dry white wine

4 cups chicken stock, good quality, from soup aisle

1 can (15 ounces) chunky style crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes

3 pounds fish, cut into 2-inch pieces, such as red snapper and tilapia

12 sea scallops, halved

2 baguettes, ask for them to be sliced at the bakery counter


4 cloves garlic, cracked away from skin

2 roasted red bell peppers, jarred is fine but pat them dry

2 small red chile pepper, seeded, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

6 (1/2-inch) slices baguette, crust trimmed

1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup stock from above stew, taken as it cooks

1 cup olive oil


  1. Heat a wide, heavy pot over medium high heat. Add 3 turns of the pan, about 3 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil. Add garlic, leeks, onions, celery and bay. Season with salt and pepper. Add thyme sprigs, orange peels and 2 handfuls parsley, reserving some chopped parsley for garnish. Stir to combine seasonings with vegetables. Saute vegetables 5 to 8 minutes, until leeks are tender, but still green. Add wine and stir in 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and tomatoes and stir well to combine. Arrange cut fish and scallops around the pan. Spoon soup stock over and around seafood. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pan and cook 10 to 12 minutes, until fish and scallops are opaque.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  3. Spread baguette slices across a cookie sheet. Reserve at least 6 slices for rouille. Place sheet in oven to lightly toast sliced bread.
  4. For rouille, in a food processor, place 4 cloves garlic, drained roasted red peppers, and chile peppers or chili flakes. Tear the 6 pieces of the sliced baguette into pieces and arrange around the food processor bowl. Steal a ladle of the stock, about 1/4 cup, from fish stew as it cooks and pour it over the bread to moisten it. Pulse pepper and bread together, then turn processor on. Stream in about 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a slow, steady stream. When mixture is smooth and well combined, transfer to a small serving bowl.
  5. When fish and scallops are cooked through, arrange cooked seafood in shallow bowls. Stir soup and ladle it down and over seafood. Be on the lookout for bay leaves, thyme stems or orange peels and discard as you find them, while you are serving up stew. Garnish stew with remaining parsley. Serve fool-i-ya-baise with toasted bread rounds, which should be spread with rouille and set afloat on top of bowls of stew.
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