Bouillabaisse Back to Basics — a modern version of a recipe by Jean-Baptiste Reboul

Jean-Baptiste Reboul wrote “la cuisinière provençale” in 1897 and it is still a standard-bearer. I recently bought fish at Port la Nouvelle with the aim of making a Bouillabaisse.

This fish soup with chunks of fish has become a famous Marseille dish of broth, lots of fish and sea food, served with a garlicky and peppery rouille and even some grated cheese.

A simple aïoli

Aïoli

For many people aïoli is a garlic sauce that goes over fries, kebab or shawarma. But in the Provence, aïoli is more than that and can be an entire festive meal with fish, snail, squid, artichokes and other vegetables with a dollop of the creamy garlic sauce.

Melva with garlic, ginger and soy sauce

Melva

At the fishmongers there was a “Melva”, a sturdy fish that looked like tuna but much smaller. I never saw one before. It is also called “false Bonito” as it is the same family as the Bonito but it bleeds more and has a more pronounced flavour. I took it and ended up with a … Read more

Turbot in the oven

Turbot

Turbot is not the least expensive of fish, but it had a very delicate taste and the meat stays firm during cooking. In France, there are many recipes with parts of a large turbot – of up to 5 kilos – with white sauces, mushrooms, shrimps and oysters or mussels. I do like mushrooms, shrimps, … Read more

Fresh trout on cabbage

At a market nearby I found a man selling fresh fish from his small fish farm in the mountains, using clean spring water, as many fish would prefer. He used a net to catch the fish from plastic containers on the back of his car.

I prepared the fish in the simplest possible fashion to appreciate the taste and presented it on a bed of green cabbage, leek and a carrot because they happened to be waiting for use in the kitchen.

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Cod, cabbage and chorizo

Although I now live in a small village near the Pyrenees mountains, I can get good fish at a fishmonger in Mirepoix.

The cod filet looked too great to resist. Cod can be bland and I usually spice it up a bit.

I had some chorizo left that I had bought at butcher’s who said he made them himself.

The cabbage came from the fresh market.

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