My sister and I wanted to make our dad something special for father's day. We both have fond memories of eating fish soup and rouille toast at the fondue restaurant that our dad and his friends opened in Montreal the year before I was born, so bouillabaisse seemed like a nice choice. As for the angel food cake, it was his favorite birthday cake throughout his childhood.
First of all, I had to get the fish stock going. Unfortunately, neither Whole Foods nor the Santa Monica Fish Market would sell me any fish bones (so disappointing!) so I had to resort to using a few shrimp shells and a couple of bones from the wild halibut steaks that I bought. I used my favorite trader joes organic vegetable stock, celery, onion, carrots, thyme, parsley, white wine and a bay leaf to amp of the flavor. I let the stock simmer gently for about an hour.
In a separate pot, I started sweating some leeks in olive oil.
The fish stock simmering away:
Next, I roughly sliced some fennel, diced about six roma tomatoes and added those to the sautéed leeks along with about a glass full of white whine and a few dried smoked chilis.
This is what it looked like after I added in the strained fish stock, a bay leaf and some saffron.
You could use any mixture of seafood, I used shrimp, mussels and halibut. Make sure to cut the fish into even pieces so they cook at the same time.
Next, I added in a ton of roughly chopped dino kale (not so typical of bouillabaisse but delicious all the same) and let that cook down for a few minutes before adding in the seafood. I started with the mussels, and a minute later added in the shrimp and fish. Stir it around but be careful not to break up the fish. I covered the pot for another minute and then turned off the heat - the fish will be slightly underdone at this point but it should cook through by the time it gets into the serving bowls.
I served the soup with my own version of rouille. I made the mayonnaise with an egg yolk, some cider vinegar, salt and 1 part olive oil to about 5 parts canola oil. I then stirred in some chopped chives and fennel fronds along with some tomato paste and a large pinch or two of sweet smoked paprika.
We used this Alton Brown recipe for the angel food cake and although it turned out well, I will probably cut down on the sugar the next time I make it.