“All the charming and beautiful things, from the Song of Songs, to bouillabaisse, and from the nine Beethoven symphonies to the Martini cocktail, have been given to humanity by men who, when the hour came, turned from tap water to something with color in it, and more in it than mere oxygen and hydrogen.”
~ H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)
Trips to the hair salon are mini vacations for me. Having someone who knows how to handle my curly mop is a really nice treat. The staff are always fun. They take my coat and offer me something to drink. When I’m sitting with the foils setting in, they bring me a whole array of magazines to peruse and I always go for the trashy, gossipy ones. I can’t resist. I would never spend my own money on them, but I think it is a riot to turn off my brain and catch up on ridiculous rumours that never materialize. Plus, that young actress who has gained all of 10 pounds makes me feel so good about myself. LOL!
Connie Campbell on the other hand uses her time at the hair salon very differently. Being a trained chef, she scours the magazines looking for delicious recipes and stores them away in the culinary file of her creative mind.
Photo courtesy of Connie J. Campbell
Last week one of those recipes came in very handy when Connie accidently left the freezer door open. It’s an upright freezer and she hates to admit it, but she’s done this before, usually because something sticks out and keeps the door from sealing. One of her freezers has an alarm on the door, plus she has also learned to strategically place the food items least likely to be ruined in the locations that warm up first.
With company coming the next day, Connie’s menu was a no-brainer. The thawed food needed to be eaten and she had most of the ingredients to create a type of bouillabaisse. Using a recipe she had found in a magazine as her inspiration, she created her own from the items she rescued from her freezer.
Bouillabaisse is a French soup recipe from Provence made with Mediterranean seafood. A thick slice of toasted French bread is placed in each bowl and the soup is served on top of it. Traditionally a Rouille sauce is served on the side. Today, it commonly served as a one-bowl soup. Connie made sure hers had a nice amount of wine in it!
This is Connie’s own recipe based on the items she had to work with. If you experience a similar freezer melt-down, you can alter it to suit your items.
Photo courtesy of Connie J. Campbell
“Oops I Did It Again” Bouillabaisse
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups white wine, dry
1 Litre crab stock
1 cup chicken broth with crab stock
½ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 teaspoons dried chilies
The peel of 2 small oranges, grated
1 teaspoon fennel leaves
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon saffron threads
4 whole tomatoes, skinned & cut up
2 pounds shrimp
2 pounds scallops
- Sauté the shallots and onions in the butter.
- Heat the wine and stock in a large pot. Reduce to simmering then add the softened shallots, onions and butter.
- Add all the other ingredients, except the seafood. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Turn down the heat and add the seafood. If you have seafood in a closed shell, add them first and cook until the shells open. Then add the rest of the seafood and cook until it is opaque.
- Actually tastes better the next day, but will keep in the fridge up to two days.
Here is Connie’s version of her story-recipe on her blog. It includes the original magazine recipe: Lemonade from Lemons, Bouillabaisse from the Open Freezer Door?
See more of Connie’s culinary expertise on her previous post: “Good Neighbour” Gluten-Free Beer Braised Beef
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