Late Summer Bourride with Fresh Tomato

Late Summer Bourride with Fresh Tomato

Serves 4-6

Seafood and Tomatoes

1-1/2 pounds firm white fish, like cod or halibut, at least 1-inch thick, cut into 3-inch pieces

½ pound large sea scallops, muscle removed and cut in half horizontally

1 or 2 very ripe large tomatoes, cored and sliced into 6-8 horizontal slices each

Poaching Liquid

2 large onions, roughly chopped

1 carrot, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 quart fish stock (I like Kitchen Basics)

2 cups dry white wine

2 cups water

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed a bit in a mortar and pestle or however you’d like to do it, or a handful of fresh fennel fronds

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

2 or 3 strips of lemon peel made using a vegetable peeler (you’ll use lemon juice in the mayonnaise)

A few grinds of black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

Heat the olive oil in a large enameled or stainless steel casserole.  Add the onions and carrot and cook for about 10 minutes until soft but not browned.  Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the liquid and the other ingredients.  Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Taste for salt and pepper and set aside.  (You can do this ahead and reheat it to poach the fish.)

Homemade Garlic Mayonnaise

6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced not too thinly

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup flavorless vegetable oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 egg yolks

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly-ground black pepper

¼ cup sliced chives

Put the garlic in a small saucepan with ¼ cup of the olive oil.  Place the pan over medium-low heat.  The garlic will start to color in about 8 – 10 minutes.  When it’s just golden but not brown, watch it carefully – you want it just turning brown.  Strain the oil, reserving both the oil and the garlic and let them cool to room temperature.  Chop the cooled garlic very finely.

Combine the mustard, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Turn on the processor to combine everything.  Scrape down the sides of the processor if necessary and leave it running.  Combine the remaining olive oil and vegetable oil in a liquid measuring cup.  If you have a Cuisinart food processor with the white pusher that has a small hole in it, pour the olive oil that was used to cook the garlic into the pusher and let it fall drop by drop from the pusher into the bowl.  If not, open the top of the food pusher part of the processor.  With the machine running, use a ¼-teaspoon measure.  Add a half of that quarter teaspoon to the processor at a time, giving about five seconds between each addition, until all the oil is in.

Then take out the white pusher if you have it in, and start adding the rest of the oil from the measuring cup in a very thin stream – actually more like droplets than an actual stream, until all the oil is in.  The mayonnaise will thicken up.  When it’s done, mix in the cooled garlic and taste it for salt and lemon juice, and add a little pepper and fold in the chives.  You can let the mayo sit at room temperature for an hour or so.  If you refrigerate it, be sure to let it warm up to room temperature before serving.

Garlic Mayonnaise from Store-Bought Mayo

1-1/2 cups good store-bought mayonnaise (not low-fat or no-fat)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup sliced chives

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced not too thinly

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Cook the garlic in the olive oil as described in the homemade mayo instructions.  Let them cool, then fold the garlic, oil, lemon juice, mustard, chives, and a little salt and pepper into the mayo.  Taste for salt, pepper, and lemon juice and set aside.

Cooking and assembly

¼-inch slices rustic bread, cut in half or thirds if they’re large

Extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

Toast the bread pieces (as many as you’d like) and brush them with a little olive oil while they’re still warm.  Let them cool.  Just before serving, spread the bread with a little bit of the garlic mayonnaise.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F (or 180 if your oven will let you do this).  Get yourself a platter that can go in the oven and hold all the fish as well, preferably one with sides that allow you to hold some liquid in there too.

Bring the poaching liquid to a boil, then turn the heat down to very low.  Add the fish and scallops and cook for about 6 minutes, then check to see if they’re done.  (Cutting into a piece of fish or scallop should show everything opaque and barely white, nothing translucent.)  There should be enough liquid to cover everything, but if not, add some boiling water.  When they’re cooked, carefully remove them from the liquid onto the platter.  Spoon a little of the liquid on top of the fish, then put the platter in the oven to keep everything warm.

Strain the poaching liquid and put it back in the pot or a saucepan.  Bring it to a boil over high heat and cook it for a few minutes to reduce it a little.  Taste the liquid to see if it needs more salt or pepper.

Take the platter out of the oven and arrange the tomato slices on top.  Spoon some of the liquid over the tomatoes and fish.  Then drizzle the top of everything with a little olive oil, and sprinkle some coarse salt on the tomatoes.  Put some of the poaching liquid in a sauce boat for serving at the table.  Divide the remaining mayo into as many small bowls as you have people eating, use it as a dipping sauce for the seafood.  Serve the bourride immediately, with the mayo-coated toasted bread slices.

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