As food bloggers, we share our kitchens and parts of our lives with anyone in the world who is interested or stumbles across our URL. We cook, style, and shoot our food in little corners of our homes where we find the best light, and we stay up late writing and connecting with others in a virtual world. We click from one social media site to the next, bouncing around like little internet butterflies, trying to find fabulous foodie things.
For me, most of the time, I do this alone. I don’t have a family to feed, so the recipes I develop for my blog are for everyone to enjoy. I find it a deeply rewarding experience to share my passion with anyone who is interested in visiting my site.
Over the nearly 3 years I have been writing Drizzle & Dip, I’ve met a lot of wonderful South African food bloggers. One of these people is Tandy Sinclair from Lavender & Lime. Tandy has been blogging for a little longer than me, and when I arrived on the scene as the new food-
freak geek on the block, she welcomed me with open arms.
We had been talking about a cooking date for quite a while. A real catch-up and sharing, where we cook and shoot the food together and take an actual and real physical look into each others kitchens.
As we live a little distance from each other and both have busy lives, this plan took a while to manifest, but last week Tandy visited me, and we had did all of the above.
Tandy did all the prep for this bouillbaisse at home and did the marinading and cooking at my house. This allowed us some extra time for chats and the hacking open of a young coconut to make a fabulous cocktail (more about this next week).
The method of this recipe is quite different to anything I have done before (not that I did anything), and the cooking time was so short. It was also lip-smackingly-scrape-every-drop-out-the-bowl delicious. When you see the list of flavours in the ingredients you will see why.
This is Tandy’s delectable Bouillabaisse (a rustic seafood stew):
Recipe – Serves 2 (generous) or 4 (smaller)
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 1 large tomato, skinned and finely chopped
- 1 T crushed garlic
- 1 sprig of fennel fronds
- Small bunch of parsley
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Piece of dried orange rind *
- 500g firm white fish – I used hake
- 500g shellfish – I used mussels on the half shell
- 60ml olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
- Pinch of powdered saffron – grind the strands in a pestle and mortar
- 500ml decent quality fish stock
- Garnish: small bunch of roughly chopped parsley
Using a heavy-bottomed casserole dish with a lid, layer the onion, carrot, and tomato. Add the garlic, fennel, the small bunch of parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and the orange rind. Layer the fish and the shellfish and then pour over the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the saffron. Leave to marinade for 2 hours and then pour over the stock. You want the stock to cover the fish – you might not need all of it, and if you need more, use water.
Bring this to the boil with the lid on, and then remove the lid and boil for 14 minutes. Gently remove the shellfish and fish and place them into a deep soup bowl. Strain the broth and serve over the fish and shellfish with a sprinkle of parsley.
Accompany with a French loaf (Tandy also made the gorgeous loaf of bread you see in the pics).
* Cooks note: to dry a piece of the orange rind: use a vegetable peeler and peel a piece of the skin off the orange without ‘grabbing’’ the pith. Dry in an oven heated to 100 Deg C for 20 minutes
PS – A little note from me, use the best stock you can and if you have the time, make your own fish stock. We used an imported fish stock cube product that I had bought from Giovanni’s and it was delicious.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.