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MONACO: (Cheater's) Bouillabaisse, Thyme Socca, and Vinaigrette

Updated: Jun 18



(Cheater's) Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse usually takes a few hours to get the rich flavors. This quickie version uses seafood stock to cut down on time. But fish stock is quite easy to make, and a short-cut shrimp stock even easier. Buy 2 pounds of shell-on shrimp (no downside to doubling in the soup!). Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauce pan, and place on medium heat. Peel the shrimp and sauté the shells, 3-4 minutes. Add 4 cups of water and a bay leaf to the pan. Simmer 7-10 minutes, pressing down on the shells to extract flavor. Pour the stock through a mesh strainer into a saucepan, pressing down on the shells until all the liquid is extracted. Salt to taste.


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 shallots, chopped OR 1 small onion and 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, chopped

1 small fennel bulb chopped (save fronds for garnish)

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup dry white wine (optional)

1 pinch saffron

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained, or 2 large tomatoes chopped

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 large piece of orange peel

4 cups seafood stock

1 pound of flaky white fish, such as cod or halibut cut into 2 inch pieces

1 pound medium sized shrimp

1 pound mussels cleaned and scrubbed well

salt and pepper to taste

chopped parsley leaves and fennel fronds for garnish


  1. Bring a large Dutch oven, with lid, to medium heat and add olive oil and butter.

  2. Once melted, add the sliced shallot and fennel and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Stir in tomato paste and sauté 3-4 minutes, until mixture turns rust. Add the wine and saffron, and cook 3 minutes. Put 1 teaspoon salt on mixture and stir.

  4. Add the chopped tomatoes (if using fresh, let the cook for about 3 minutes before adding the rest of this list), seafood stock, fresh thyme, bay leaf and orange peel. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

  5. While simmering, add the fish and shrimp, turn up heat, and bring back to a simmer.

  6. Add the mussels, put a lid on the pot, and lower the temperature to just maintain a simmer.

  7. Check to see if mussels are open. If so, toss in half of the the herbs, taste for seasoning, then ladle the bouillabaisse into bowls with assorted fish and garnish with chopped parsley


Thyme Socca

1 cup chickpea flour

1 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons olive oil

½ large onion, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


  1. Put the chickpea flour and salt in a bowl. Slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover and let sit while the oven heats, or for as long as 12 hours.

  2. Sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon olive in a 10-inch well season cast iron or ovenproof nonstick pan, until a deep caramel color around this same time. Let cool.

  3. When ready to cook, remove cooled onions into the batter. Add thyme to batter. Wipe out skillet and put into oven. Heat the oven to 450.

  4. When oven and pan are preheated, remove the pan, pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into it and swirl. Remove pan and immediately pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pancake is firm and the edges set.

  5. Heat the broiler and brush the top of the pancake with. Set the pancake a few inches away from the broiler, and cook just long enough to brown it in spots. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot or warm.


Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp olive oil

splash heavy cream or milk

salt and pepper


  1. Whisk vinegar and mustard together.

  2. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly, until mixture is fully emulsified and the texture of heavy cream.

  3. Add a splash of cream or milk, and salt and pepper to taste.




FUN FACTS:

  • Monaco has more police per capita than anywhere else in the world.

  • Monaco is the second smallest nation in the world, after the Vatican City. It is smaller than Central Park.

  • Monaco's residents live longer than anywhere else in the world.

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