Food Recipes / February, 2012

This French stew makes the most of local seafood, a good representation of the type of food served at The Wellington Room. Note that the lobster stock makes enough for at least two batches of bouillabaisse.


Adapted from Karen Keohane and Matthew Sharlot of The Wellington Room.

Wine: Barrachi Brut Rose (Tuscany, Italy)
Beer: Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. Nelson Imperial IPA (Portland, Ore.)
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Lobster Stock
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 lobster bodies (shells), cleaned
1 cup dry white wine, such as  Pinot Grigio
1 gallon water
2 cans clam juice
½ fennel bulb, roughly chopped (reserve the fronds)
3 ribs celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 heads garlic, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Pinch saffron

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

12  medium scallops, side muscle removed
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 (3 ounce) pieces of cod
28 mussels, debearded and washed
½ bulb fennel (save fronds for garnish), shaved
½ cup slow roasted tomatoes or grape tomatoes
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons Pernod, optional
½ tablespoon chopped parsley
½ tablespoon chopped tarragon
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Prepare the lobster stock. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. add the lobster shells and cook until beginning to toast. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any bits from the bottom.

2. Add the water, clam juice, fennel, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, red pepper, and tomato paste. Stir to blend. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Partially cover pan and cook at a low simmer for 3 hours. Add saffron and simmer for 15 more minutes. Strain, discarding solids. (May be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container, refrigerated.)

3. Prepare the bouillabaisse. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or saucepan. Sear scallops, both sides, till they are golden brown and half cooked. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the shrimp, then the cod, transferring each to the plate when they’re browned and half cooked. Set aside.

4. Add 4 cups lobster broth to the pan along with the mussels, fennel, and tomatoes. Cover and cook on high for a couple minutes until mussels open. Return reserved seafood to the pan and add lemon juice and Pernod, if using. Cover and simmer until seafood is cooked. You may need to add more stock. Stir in tarragon and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. To serve, transfer the bouillabaisse into a large tureen and serve with bread that has been lightly seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds.