Paleo Seafood Bouillabaisse

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I first learned about bouillabaisse while working at the Alyeska Prince Hotel in Girdwood, Alaska. I loved it from the first time I tasted it and have relied on it as an amazing seafood offering ever since. A close relative to Cioppino, this tomato broth based seafood stew is a crowd pleaser.

While working as a private chef, I prepared this dish several times. It works well because you can sear off all of your seafood and present it on a platter, then have the guests pass through and pick out their favorites. After the seafood is a large pot of scorching hot broth that we’d ladle over the seafood and voila! The broth would heat the seafood, the seafood would cool the broth to a palatable temperature and everyone would be happy. I would serve it with super crunchy, biased cut, garlic infused baguette, which is a total upgrade if that’s your thing…

This video was featured in the CrossFit Journal a few weeks ago. It is longer than most, but teaches some good techniques:

– how to peel and devein shrimp

– how to poach a lobster tail

– how to fabricate king crab

There are endless things to say about this video/recipe. It would be better to sub fish fumet or seafood stock for the chicken stock and clam juice. You can use the shrimp shells to make such a broth. If you have some saffron, you could add that. You can experiment with different fresh herbs such as chervil, thyme, and dill. You get the picture…

I am not a big recipe guy, so I’d rather have you watch the video and wing it than be tied tightly to the recipe, but do what works for you. Just know that the end goal is to be able to cook without recipes.

We are on the road and headed to California. I know that content has been skimpy, but hold tight and I’ll open the flood gate of videos/content once we get esablished in our new home. Thank you all for your support and please know that I am as excited as ever about this project!!

I’ll write more about the decision/road trip soon…

Until then, “Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal and Guide to Culinary Fitness,

Paleo Nick

Paleo Seafood Bouillabaisse

Ingredient List:

  • 3 Legs Alaskan King Crab, jointed, cartilage removed and split on a diagonal the long way
  • 1 Lobster Tail, split down the center the long way, deveined and rinsed
  • 6 Sea Scallops (U10 Size), side muscle removed
  • 12 Wild Caught Shrimp (16/20 Size), peeled and deveined
  • 4 Pieces Cod (approx. 6 ounces each)
  • 2 ½ quarts Chicken or Seafood Stock
  • 2-3 Cups White Wine
  • 2 Bottles (8oz.) Clam Juice
  • 2 Cans (14.5oz.) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Can (28oz.) Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Cups Leeks, julienned
  • 3 Cups Celery, julienned
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Roasted Garlic Olive Oil
  • 1 Bunch Italian Parsley, rinsed, stems removed and finely chopped.
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions for the Broth:

  1. Heat olive oil in an 8 quart stock pot over high heat until it flows like water.
  2. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Add celery and leeks and stir well to coat with olive oil and garlic.
  4. Add a pinch of salt, stir again, reduce heat to medium, cover pot with lid and cook until leeks and celery begin to soften.
  5. Add wine, chicken stock, clam juice, and tomato product. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and you have completed the broth portion of the bouillabaisse. Keep warm over low heat until the seafood portion is complete.

Preparation Instructions for the Seafood:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until it flows like water.
  2. Dry the scallops, shrimp and cod on both sides with paper towel, then season them lightly on the top side with salt and pepper.
  3. When pan is hot, place seafood in oil, seasoned side down and then season the other side.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn over.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes longer and then scoop 2-3 ladles of broth into the pan. This will begin to marry the flavors and help finish cooking the seafood by lightly simmering it.
  6. Maintain a simmer at this point until the shrimp, scallops and cod have reached an internal temperature of 120° F.
  7. While shrimp, scallops and cod are cooking, poach the lobster tail in the broth until its meat turns from translucent to opaque and it just becomes firm.
  8. Add the king crab to the broth for 2 minutes, just before everything is finished. The king crab is already cooked, it simply needs to be warmed.
  9. Once the lobster is done, crab is warmed and shrimp, scallops and cod are cooked to your liking, combine them all in a large serving dish.

Instructions for plating the Seafood Bouillabaisse:

  1. Scoop the seafood into a large serving bowl, or portion it out into individual serving dishes.
  2. Ladle broth over the top, garnish with Italian parsley and Voila!, you are ready to enjoy a meal with your friends and family!

Bon Appetit!

Notes: The challenge of this dish is to have all seafood done at the same time. With practice, you will be able to accomplish this. Even if you overcook one of the items, your guests won’t mind. I promise. There are a few other approaches you can take to this:

  1. You can make the broth ahead of time and keep your seafood raw and ready in the fridge. Then, when you are going to eat this, say one portion at a time, cook the amount of seafood you are going to eat at that sitting, and then top it with the broth. Bring it all to a simmer and you’re set.
  2. You can also poach all of the seafood in the broth. To do this, bring the broth to 180°F and adjust the heat to maintain that temperature. Add the lobster tail first, then the cod, shrimp and scallops. Add the king crab right at the end, just to warm it. Again, practice will teach you when to add which items, but even if you overcook something, it will still taste good.

“Keeping It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

15 Protein, 7.5 Carbs, 30 Fats

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