You-Can-Cook-Fancy French Bouillabaisse


Looking for something to impress your love? This dish melts my husband’s heart (we’ll not talk about what the butter does to his heart) because it’s simply delish and full of fish and seafood.

I like it because it doesn’t break the bank but feels like a fancy French meal that you’d pay $25 or more per serving for out to eat, if you can even get a reservation this weekend. So skip the big check (and the cold temps out there, brrr!) and whip up a steamy pot of French bouillabaisse at home. After all, nothing says amour like fancy French food. Not sure how to pronounce it? It’s [boo-ya-base] which is simply seafood stew that sort of translates to “boil” and “simmer.”

Trust me: It’ll be the best decision you make all weekend. Don’t forget a fresh baguette for sopping up all the buttery garlic goodness (you’ll both have garlic breath, and be happier for it)!

This dish is also great for entertaining a crowd. Simply add another dozen clams and mussels and a little more butter to serve 4-6. Or increase ingredients appropriately for more. Dining solo? Halve ingredients and have the whole pot to yourself!


You-Can-Cook-Fancy French Bouillabaisse

Serves 2-4


1 teaspoon olive oil

1 bulb fennel

1 shallot

1 onion

5 cloves garlic, chopped

2 links sausage (optional, I added this for something more for our toddler to eat from this meal since she doesn’t eat shellfish, yet)

1 1/4-pound piece monkfish

1 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)

1 stick butter

1 dozen clams

1 dozen mussels

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Heat Dutch oven or large shallow pot over medium high heat, adding olive oil. Saute fennel, shallots and onion.
  2. Add sliced sausage when aromatics are wilted, if desired.
  3. Add sliced monkfish and garlic, cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add wine, bring to a simmer.
  5. Add butter, cover and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add shellfish and cook about 10 minutes, until all shells are open (caution: do not force open shells, toss shellfish that don’t open)
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
  8. Serve with French baguette for dipping.


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