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World Class Cooking At Home

Create These Restaurant-Worthy Recipes In Your Own Kitchen

Bouillabaisse -- A French Seafood Soup  

6-8 servings

It’s not uncommon for chefs to prepare their bouillabaisse based on the catch of the day. With that said, think of the ingredients list as a general guideline, particularly when it comes to the types of seafood required. Even if you don’t live on the French Riviera with access to beautiful Mediterranean fish, you can still put together a gorgeous bouillabaisse, just don’t skip the rouille — the spicy, garlicky sauce that makes this dish truly sing.

Ingredients

 Croutons:

12 to 16 baguette slices, ½ inch thick

Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

One garlic clove, halved

Soup:

One live lobster, 1 to 1¼ pound

Two large tomatoes peeled and coarsely chopped

One large onion, chopped

Four garlic cloves, chopped

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

One pound of potatoes boiled

⅓ cup fennel fronds, finely chopped

One bay leaf

¼ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled 

1½ tablespoons coarse sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Nine cups of white fish broth 

Three pounds of any white fish fillets cut into 2-inch pieces

½ pound small clams, scrubbed

½ pound mussels, scrubbed and any beards removed

½ pound large shrimp in shell

Rouille:

Three tablespoons water

¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs, preferably from a baguette, crust removed 

Three garlic cloves

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

½ teaspoon cayenne

Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Directions

Croutons:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250°F. Brush both sides of bread slices with oil, arranging in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes. Rub one side of each toast with a cut side of garlic.

Soup:

Plunge lobster headfirst into an 8-quart pot of boiling water, then cook, covered, for 2 minutes from when the lobster enters the water. Transfer lobster with tongs to a colander and let stand until cool enough to handle. Discard hot water. Put lobster in a shallow baking pan. Twist off claws with knuckles from the body, then crack claws with a mallet or rolling pin and separate claws from knuckles. Halve the body and tail lengthwise through the shell with kitchen shears, then cut crosswise through the shell into 2-inch pieces. Reserve lobster juices that accumulate in the baking pan.

Cook tomatoes, onion, and garlic in oil in a cleaned 8 quart pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into ½ inch cubes. Stir potatoes into tomatoes with fennel fronds, bay leaf, saffron, sea salt, and pepper. Add stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the thicker pieces of fish and clams to the soup and simmer, covered for two minutes. Stir in mussels, shrimp, lobster juices, and remaining fish. Simmer, covered, until they are just cooked through and mussels open wide, about 5 minutes. Stir three tablespoons broth from soup into rouille until blended.

Rouille:

Pour water over breadcrumbs into a bowl. Mash garlic to a paste with sea salt and cayenne using a mortar and pestle. Add moistened breadcrumbs and mash into garlic paste. Add oil in a slow stream, mashing and stirring vigorously with a pestle until combined well.

Serving

Arrange two croutons in each of the soup bowls. Carefully transfer fish and shellfish from soup to croutons with a slotted spoon, then ladle some broth with vegetables over seafood. Top each serving with one teaspoon rouille and serve the remainder on the side. 

Bistecca Fiorentina -- A Florentine-Style Steak      

Six servings

This steak is traditionally cooked quite rare. Depending on preference, cook for a few more minutes on each side for medium rare.

Ingredients

Three sprigs of rosemary

Flaky sea salt

Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and more as needed

1 ½ inch Porterhouse steak, about 3 pounds

Directions

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium. Remove the needles from one of the rosemary sprigs and finely chop. Sprinkle two teaspoons salt on the chopped rosemary needles and mix. Scrape the mix onto the knife's blade and into a small bowl. Stir in the olive oil to make a paste. Set aside.

Brush the steak with a little plain olive oil (not the oil-and-rosemary paste). Season lightly with salt. Place on the grill and cook until the underside is well charred about 10 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until charred, about 10 minutes more. Pick up the steak with tongs and turn it on its side to char the fat. It takes about 2 minutes. Turn and char the other side, two minutes more. The steak should read 115 to 120 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer in the center for rare.

Remove the steak to a cutting board and bunch up the two remaining rosemary sprigs to use as a brush. Brush the rosemary oil on both sides of the steak. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Meringue Sundae with Peppery Berry Sauce                                                   

Four servings

Store-bought meringue cookies and frozen berries make this elegant sundae come together in a snap. Serve it on one big plate with two spoons for a sweet ending to a perfect dinner.

Ingredients
One cup of frozen strawberries

⅔ cup frozen raspberries

Six tablespoons dark brown sugar

Six tablespoons Chambord liqueur

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Pinch of kosher salt

12-16 small meringue cookies

Six large scoops of vanilla ice cream,

Extra virgin olive oil 

Flaky sea salt

Basil leaves

Directions

Cook strawberries, raspberries, brown sugar, liqueur, pepper, and kosher salt in a small pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Arrange cookies and ice cream scoop on a plate. Spoon berry sauce over ice cream, then top with oil, sea salt, and basil.

Note: sauce can be made one day ahead. Transfer to an airtight container and chill. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Sybil Velarde is our Food and Drink writer. She is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who offers in-home gourmet meals by delivery. Learn more: atsybilskitchen.com 

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