Virginia Willis’ Creole Country Bouillabaisse
- 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
- 1 onion, preferably Vidalia, chopped
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 to 16 red new potatoes, about the size of golf balls
- 4 quarts homemade seafood stock (page 13) or water
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 1/2 cup (3-ounce bag) Old Bay Seasoning
- Bouquet garnish (2 bay leaves, preferably fresh, 5 sprigs thyme, 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, 10 black peppercorns, tied together in cheesecloth)
- 1/4-cup tomato paste
- 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1/4-teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 2 pounds fresh kielbasa, cut into pieces
- 6 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked and silk removed, broken in half
- 12 live crawfish
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless halibut fillet, cut into large chunks
- 12 large shrimp (21/25 count), in the shell
- 12 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
- 12 cherrystone clams, scrubbed
- Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins or crusty bread, for serving
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy stockpot over medium-high heat until shimmering.
2. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the potatoes, seafood stock, garlic, Old Bay, bouquet garnish, tomato paste, tomatoes, and cayenne pepper.
5. Cover the pot and heat to a rolling boil.
6. Decrease the heat to simmer and cook until fragrant and flavorful, about 15 minutes.
7. Add the sausage, corn, and live crawfish and return to a boil.
8. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
To keep up with Virginia, visit her website: www.virginiawillis.com