Saturday, April 23, 2016

Recipes by William Conrad: Bouillabaisse; Gazpacho Valenciana

William Conrad's Bouillabaisse

1 lb. green (raw) shrimp in shells
3 lbs. assorted fish: sea bass, flounder, cod, perch, red snapper, mullet
or sunnies
5 small lobster tails, cut in pieces
1 lb. clams in shells or one 7-oz. can chopped sea clams
6 cups water
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1 medium onion, peeled, chopped
3 tbsps. butter
1 tsp. oregano
2 bay leaves
3/4 tsp. thyme
1 cup Moselle wine
1/2 cup Spanish olive oil
3 chopped leeks (white part only)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pound can tomatoes, strained
2 tbsps. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. saffron threads

Shell shrimp, reserving shells. Cut large fish into serving-size pieces; leave small fish whole. Reserve fish heads and tails. Rinse and scrub clams thoroughly. In a soup kettle, combine reserved shrimp shells, fish heads and trimmings, water, 1 tsp. salt, onion, butter, oregano, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. thyme and wine to make fish stock. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer 20 minutes, uncovered. Strain. There should be 6 cups liquid. If needed, add water to make up the difference. Prepare sauce by heating olive oil in large skillet (or Dutch oven). Saute leeks and garlic in olive oil until golden. Add strained tomato, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. thyme, parsley and 1/2 tsp. salt. Mash saffron in a mortar or with the back of a wooden spoon, dissolve in a little hot water; add to olive oil sauce. Simmer about 45 minutes. Add to strained fish stock.

When guests have arrived, place all the fish and lobster in the combined sauce and fish stock, bring to a boil, and cook over moderate heat for 20 minutes. During the last 8 minutes, add shrimp and clams (if canned clams are used, these may be added with fish). Taste to correct seasonings. Serve in soup plates with slices of French bread (usually floated in the dish). Fingers are allowed while eating! Serves 8-10.

William Conrad's Gazpacho Valenciana

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt.
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup Spanish olive oil
2 cups canned tomato puree (or 8 large, sun-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced)
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 cup bread cubes
Olive oil for sauteeing
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, coarsely chopped
12 small cleaned radishes, thinly sliced
1 sweet red (or green) pepper, coarsely chopped
Bottle of chilled club soda
2 scallions, diced

Mix garlic with salt and cumin, beat in olive oil, then combine with pureed tomatoes and vinegar. Beat in blender until smooth. Cover and chill thoroughly for 3 or 4 hours. Prepare croutons by frying bread cubes in olive oil until golden and crisp. Drain croutons on absorbent paper. Pour chilled tomato mixture into 6 soup dishes. Add small amount of club soda to each bowl and mix. Add croutons and pass diced vegetables served in separate bowls for garnish. Serves 6.

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