Saturday, 24 March 2012

Fishing for compliments

I often return from holidays with delicious ingredients- soupe de poissons, caviare d'aubergines, tapenade, mustards and herbs and spices (no prizes for guessing where my holidays are spent!)- and then spend the winter months puzzling over how best to use them up.

This is how I put a jar of soupe de poissons to good use: firstly, served as it should be with garlic toast and some grated gruyere.

Next I made a sort of bourrride: a fish stew with saffron potatoes based on a dish I eat in my favourite Marseille restaurant La Nautique. (A brilliant resto for the economically savvy- all the millionaire feel of Marseille's vieux port with none of the over-hyped price tags.)


half a jar of soupe de poissons
2 waxy potatoes (peeled)
selection of fish (salmon, cod, prawns)
pinch of saffron
teaspoon of turmeric
parsley ( finely chopped)

1. Boil the potatoes until soft but not falling apart in a mixture of water, salt, saffron and turmeric
2. Warm the soup in a saucepan and add the cod and salmon. Cook for 6-7 minutes until the fish is cooked through and flakes if carefully tested with a fork.Add the prawns and cook through a further minute.
3. Drain the potatoes (but  retain the saffron stock).
4. Put a portion of potatoes in a dish, pour the soup around and lay the pieces of fish on top.
5. Sprinkle with parsley (purists might also want a dollop of garlic mayonnaise too) and serve.

Final fish dish- a fish pie.


Assorted fish- smoked haddock, prawns, salmon, cod etc
Cold mashed potato
grated cheese (cheddar/parmesan)
leftover saffron stock (from last recipe)
creme fraiche

1. Skin the fish and poach gently in a little milk mixed with the saffron stock and peas.
2. Remove the heat and add the prawns  for a further minute or two.
3. Flake fish into a dish and mix with a little poaching liquor and creme fraiche .
4. Top with mashed potato and grated cheese and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

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