What a beautiful weekend! I keep finding myself stopping and just sort of basking in the feelings of being happy and blessed. Summer is certainly a special time of year. Yesterday we celebrated summer in the best ways we know how, with a few hours out on the water followed by a Bastille Day dinner at home.
First of all, Market Basket in Woburn has an amazing, U.S. sourced seafood selection. We loaded up on fresh shrimp, clams, mussels, and cod for dinner, and we tasted the freshness in every bite. As chaotic as Market Basket can be, I have to say that I will be returning to stock up on seafood very soon. This very seafood was the star of our beautiful Provencal dinner, making Sunday evening just a bit more special.
Bastille Day, being a French summer holiday and all, could not pass without a glass of rosé. While I cooked dinner and my husband practiced on his new piano, we sipped a pretty pink wine from Mas de Gourgonnier, a blend of mostly Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Cabernet Sauvignon. Notes of tart dried cherries dominate this delicious rosé, with the finish featuring rose petal and mineral flavors, nice and dry and absolute perfection with the bouillabaisse, which was also perfect, if I do say so myself.
I googled a bunch of bouillabaisse recipes and then kind of just went out on my own for the final product.
My perfect bouillabaisse:
1 pound cod
1 pound mussels, cleaned
1 pound shrimp, cleaned
1 large fennel bulb, sliced
8 large tomatoes, diced
2 cups dry white wine
4 tablespoons butter
tarragon, salt, and black pepper to taste
I got started by cleaning my mussels (and delicious Chatham clams, which we ate drenched in salted butter, as an appetizer) and chopping my veggies. Raw fennel is one of my favorites; a lot went missing while I was chopping.
Once the tomatoes and fennel were chopped, I added them to the butter in a deep pan and sautéed them for a couple of minutes, before pouring in the wine and adding the tarragon, salt, and pepper. I placed the cod, mussels, and shrimp on top of the veggies, put on the lid, and let the aromatic stew simmer until all of the mussels were open, the shrimp were pink, and the cod perfectly flaky.
I really have to say, especially since I have given up cooking at home (Last week was a turkey sub kind of week.), that this dish was really exceptional. It brought together the aromatic flavor of fennel with fresh New England seafood and tomatoes, summer in a bowl, while the wine was summer in a glass. Eaten slowly while reminiscing about the day at sea, this meal was like a mini vacation to the South of France.
Did you do anything fun for Bastille Day?