Happy Monday, Noshers! Hmm, I know “Monday” and “Happy” don’t always go together, but they do when it’s Day 3 of my 2012 Holiday Gift Guide + Giveaway extravaganza! Today’s gift guide involved a challenge on my part – I was tasked by Whole Foods Market to create a unique “fish dish” in honor of the Southern Italian tradition of “The Feast of the Seven Fishes”! Traditionally served on Christmas Eve, this luxurious meal usually features (you guessed it) seven different seafood dishes.
I have never had the opportunity to attend a traditional Feast of Seven Fishes meal (anyone having one and want to invite me? ). However, armed with a $50 gift card provided by Whole Foods Market, I was eager to purchase some quality seafood for my own take on a fish dish:
And because of Whole Foods’ third-party verified sustainable seafood ratings, I felt both comfortable and informed about my purchases.
I decided to do a twist on the traditional Provençal bouillabaisse – a fish stew conventionally featuring various types of seafood, vegetables (leeks, onions and tomatoes make a common appearance), and finished with a crusty bread slices topped with a hearty rouille (a spread made with oil, bread crumbs and herbs). If there’s anything I learned from Julia Child and Jacques Pepin growing up, it’s that one can’t go too wrong with a good rouille. More rouille, more rouille! The results of my tweaks on a traditional recipe were a success, as evidenced by the empty bowls after my family was kind enough to be my taste testers .
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Shells from 1 lb of jumbo shrimp
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup of chopped bok choy
- 1 cup of watercress, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp crushed ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup rice wine
- 5 cups of water
1. Heat oil a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shrimp shells; cook 3 minutes.
2. Add onion, bok choy, watercress, ginger and garlic to shells in saucepan and cook 2 minutes.
3. Stir in tomato, and heat through.
4. Add peppercorn, salt, rice wine and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Strain through fine mesh strainer and discard solids. Set broth aside.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 4 baby bok choy, cut in large pieces
- 2 cup of watercress
- 12 littleneck clams
- 12 mussels
- 1 lb jumbo shrimp, cleaned and peeled (shells used for stock)
- 4 jumbo scallops
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Submerge littleneck clams in salted cold water for 30 minutes to expel any sand and debris. Remove clams from water and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bok choy and watercress to pan, and cook until onion are translucent.
3. Stir in broth and bring to a boil.
4. Add clams. Cover and reduce heat; cook for about 6 minutes.
5. Add mussels. Cover and continue to cook until mussels open (about 2 minutes).
6. Add shrimp, scallops and cilantro and cover. Heat over low flame until shrimp and scallops are done (monitor, approximately 5 minutes) and clams are open.
7. Stir in butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Rouille and Bread
- 3 dried red Thai chili peppers
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 tbsp bread crumbs
- 4 tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 medium French baguette
1. Soak chili peppers in water for 15 minutes. Combine chili peppers and garlic together using a food processor, until combined
2. Add breadcrumbs to above mixture
3. Add olive oil, adding more as needed to keep rouille from getting dry.
1. Thinly slice baguette and toast. Top baguette with rouille.
2. Ladle bouillabaisse into bowls and top with baguette + rouille.
Phew! I admit that is one of the more complex recipes I’ve put together, but the end result was totally worth it! Thank you, Whole Foods, for the gift card so I could purchase great fresh ingredients to create my seafood dish! And, Whole Foods was also cool enough to provide another $50 gift card for me to give away to one lucky reader – perfect for holiday cooking and baking! The Whole Foods gift card has made my Holiday Gift Guide because I love Whole Foods – you can always count on getting beautiful produce, seafood, cheese, meats and much more – and the gift card means that the recipient can choose whatever they want!
For your chance to win the Whole Foods $50 gift card, enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. This 52 second video provides a tutorial on how to enter a giveaway for Rafflecopter newbies! There are 6 methods of entry, with the first method (commenting on this blog post) being mandatory and the rest just extra gravy!
Will you be the lucky winner?
Note: Gift cards provided by Whole Foods, opinions are my own.
Previous Holiday Giftguide 2012 Posts:
- Holiday Giftguide 2012 Announcement and FAQs
- Fatty Sundays & Co Pretzels!
- HelloFresh Delivery Boxes!