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bullet A classic fish dish from France



Having just returned from a trip to France, I am in the mood for some Mediterranean cooking.  We were in the Roussillon area, which has a relatively simple cuisine because it was never rich.  Bourride is a classic fish stew but much less complicated and expensive to make than boulliabaise.

1½  kg monkfish of firm white fish. Ask fishmonger to skin & bone it for you.

½ litre olive oil

3 tomatoes roughly chopped

1 large onion roughly chopped

8 cloves garlic peeled & very finely chopped

zest of 1 orange

sprig of thyme

pinch of saffron

1 glass white wine

juice of ½ lemon

3 egg yolks

salt & black pepper


1.Use a large saucepan and heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil.  Add the tomatoes, onion, half the garlic, thyme, saffron, orange zest, wine and 1 litre water.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Make an aioli mixture by blending 2 egg yolks with salt & pepper and the remaining garlic. Then gradually add the remaining olive oil in a stream whilst whisking the mixture.  When it has nicely thickened, add the lemon juice.

3.  Cut the fish into bite sized chunks and add to the saucepan.  Poach for 15 minutes.  Then remove fish and keep warm.

4.  Sieve the stock and discard the vegetables.  Return the stock to the pan & reheat gently.

5.  Take about half the aioli and beat the remaining egg yolk in.  Slowly pour the warm stock on to it, constantly stirring.  Return this combined mixture to the pan and heat gently, stirring until it is the thickness of custard.  Avoid boiling.

6. Divide the fish into bowls and pour the soup over it.  Serve with French bread croutons spread with the remaining aioli.  Makes about 6 portions.