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This is a wonderful fish stew, similar to Bouillabaisse.
3 lb. white fish, 1 pound each of three different kinds if possible3 tablespoons olive oil1 leek, white only, sliced1 small onion, thinly sliced1 small carrot, thinly sliced1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced3 cloves garlic, chopped1 sprig fresh thyme1 3-inch piece orange peel, removed with a vegetable peeler2 bay leaves1 1/2 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc1 1/2 cup boiling water1 1/2 cup fish stock or fumet1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and thinly slicedSalt and freshly ground black pepper3 egg yolks2 cups Aioli (see recipe)1/2 cup heavy creamToasted baguette slices3 whole cloves garlic
Cut the fish into serving portions or thick slices and reserve in the refrigerator.
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, onions, carrots, fennel, garlic, thyme, orange peel and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 5 minutes. Add the white wine, boiling water, fish stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes.
Place the fish on top of the vegetables and slowly simmer just until cooked through and opaque, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the fish and vegetables carefully and place on a warm platter. Pour a ladle of broth over them and cover with foil. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper. If necessary, reduce slightly until the broth tastes good.
Reserve 1 cup aioli for a garnish. Combine the remaining 1 cup aioli with the egg yolks and heavy cream in a bowl, stirring gently. Reheat the broth on a low flame until it is just below a simmer. BE CAREFUL! This is a crucial step. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup broth into the egg yolk/aioli mixture. Over very, very low heat, with a wooden spoon add the egg yolk/aioli/broth mixture to remaining soup and stir constantly until a smooth creamy texture results. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
To serve the soup, ladle the broth into the bowls and distribute the fish and vegetables. Rub the rounds of toast with garlic and top with the remaining aioli. Float a few in each bowl of soup and pass additional toast and aioli separately.
AIOLI (GARLIC MAYONNAISE)
2 egg yolks1 tablespoon Dijon mustard1 cup olive oil1 cup safflower, sunflower or peanut oil5 to 6 cloves garlic, mashed1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice or to tasteSalt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk the yolks, mustard and 1 tablespoon olive oil together until an emulsion is formed. Combine the olive oil and the peanut oil. Drop by drop, add the oil to the emulsion, whisking constantly. Continue to do this, drop by drop, in a steady stream, whisking, until all of the oil has been added. Do not add the oil too quickly and be sure that the emulsion is homogeneous before adding more oil. Season with garlic, lemon, salt and freshly ground pepper.
If you would like to thin this mayonnaise, in a thin stream, add 1 or 2 tablespoon warm water to the mayonnaise, whisking constantly. This should be used the same day that it is made.
Makes about 2 cups
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