A few weeks ago, I was invited along with several other bloggers to a “Discover Cuisine” event at ADF+Enderun in Enderun Colleges.
We were to witness Chef Marc Chalopin, executive chef of Alain Ducasse Formation (ADF)+Enderun, prepare bouillabaisse. Being a fan of cooking shows (including Top Chef), I found it really exciting to watch chef Marc do mis en place, cleaning the seafood and cutting expertly.
It’s a quite complicated dish, but who knows, I might just attempt it one of these rainy days. So I watched and took notes intently.
Bouillabaisse (bool-yuh-bayz) is a fish and shellfish stew from France. Here are the ingredients:
- 1 big piece lapu-lapu / grouper (1 kg)
- 1 big piece bisugo / red snapper (1 kg)
- 300 grams squid (big)
- 2 pieces shrimps (big)
- 10 pieces clams (big)
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 branch dry fennel
- 2 liters fish soup (see below to make from scratch)
- 10 saffron pistils
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 pinch orange zest
- 1 piece small bayleaf
- 1/4 piece baguette
- 1.5 kg small fish (any fish, as long as they are very fresh)
- 1 piece sweet onion (the small white ones)
- 4 pieces tomatoes
- 1 piece garlic head
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 10 pcs black peppercorns
- 1 liter chicken stock (may be prepared from scratch by boiling chicken bones or, if you’re like me, use chicken cubes)
Spicy Provencal Sauce
- 1 kg potatoes
- 250 ml olive oil
- 1 piece garlic clove
- 150 ml fish soup
- 1 pinch of saffron pistils
- 1 pinch espelette or cayenne powder
- 4 pieces sun-dried tomato petals
- 5 grams sweet pepper
- 1 egg yolk
1. Scale and clean all fish (including small fish for fish soup); cut off all fins. Remove the head and the gills. Cut the grouper and red snapper into 5-cm steaks. (My suggestion: best to have this done thoroughly by your fish vendor. Operational word: thoroughly. I hate spitting out fish scales. Also, if you can have the fish filleted, so much better.)
2. Clean and prepare the squid. Remove the ink sacs from the head as well as the “plastic” film from the body. Remove the dark-colored membranes on the surface of the squid. Cut squid into rectangular pieces (about 1″x2″) and make fine slits along one side. ( The slitting is a great tip, as the squid easily cooks and won’t be gummy.)
3. Wash and clean the shrimps. Devein and make a slit down the back. Keep the heads. Strain and set aside.
4. Wash the clams and keep submerged in cold water.
Make the fish soup:
1. Peel and slice onions. Wash tomatoes and cut each into 6 wedges. Cut the garlic head into half.
2. Heat a pan with olive oil. Add onions, garlic, fennel seeds, and peppercorns. Reduce heat and cover to sweat for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the small fish. Cook over low heat in covered pan for 5 minutes. Do not stir or wet.
4. Add the tomatoes. Press down lightly but still don’t stir. Put the lid back on and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add chicken stock, just enough to submerge fish. Simmer for another 20 minutes over low heat without cover.
6. Strain mixture and set soup aside.
Make the Provencal sauce:
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into 4 pieces. Cook in a bit of the fish soup with saffron and cayenne powder. Cook until potatoes are soft and broth is reduced.
2. Peel garlic clove. Crush in a mortar. Add sun-dried tomatoes and continue crushing with garlic.
3. Add potatoes and the reduced broth into mortar. Mash well together. When mixture turns into a paste, add the egg yolk. Season with salt.
4. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. This will take about 10 minutes – good arm workout! Set aside.
Cook the Bouillabaisse:
1. Wrap the crushed garlic, orange zest, bayleaf and 5 peppercorns in a small piece of cloth. Tie ends of cloth together.
2. Pour the strained fish soup into a huge pot then add saffron and cloth-wrapped spices. Simmer the soup. Gently poach the fish steaks/fillets for 4-6 minutes with lid on. Gently take the fish out from soup. Keep the soup simmering over low heat. Adjust taste with salt.
3. In a small pan, quickly cook the clams in some of the soup until they open up. Take out from pan and remove clam meat from shells. Set aside.
4. Quickly sear the squid pieces in a little bit of oil. Set aside.
5. Return all seafood into soup. Add shrimp last. Turn off heat to cook through.
Serve the bouillabaisse along with some toasted baguettes topped with provencal sauce. Provencal sauce may also be served on the side.
The bloggers, all armed with point-and-shoots and dslr cameras, were raring to shoot Chef Marc’s bouillabaisse.
The soup was very flavorful, the fish and seafood perfectly done. Bouillabaisse, though takes a lot of work, is a very hearty stew that’s perfect for these rainy days. The question is: can I handle it? 😀
Established in 2007, ADF+Enderun is a partnership between world-renowned Alain Ducasse Formation and Enderun Colleges. Through this partnership, Enderun brings French culinary arts closer to the Filipino.
ADF+Ederun offers a 15-month Certificate in Culinary Arts program where students learn the basic theories of French culinary arts through demonstration from ADF-trained chefs, as well as practice the techniques themselves.
For me, the best thing with the 15-month program is the exclusive chance to take internships with Alain Ducasse restaurants and Alain Ducasse Formation centers in France. That would be awesome on anyone’s resume.
Enderun Colleges is on 1100 Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Philippines.
Telephone: +632 856 5000. Website: www.enderuncolleges.com.