Chosen Bites: The lighter side of life

The robust flavored fish stew Bourride has all the comfort of a warm sweater without the fat.

Bourride (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Bourride is delicious saffron infused Mediterranean fish stew. The addition of orange and lemon zests makes the stew fresh, bright and very aromatic. BourrideServes 4-6
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil3 medium leeks (white parts only), sliced thinly3 medium carrots, sliced thinly1 large fennel bulb, sliced thinly4 garlic cloves, mincedPinch of crushed red chili flakes (optional)2 450 gram cans of plum tomatoes with their juices2 teaspoons saffron threads1 fresh bay leaf2 tablespoons fresh orange zest2 tablespoons fresh lemon zestJuice of 1 lemon1 quart vegetable stock or water450 gram fingerling potatoes, cut into ½ inch thick coins1 kg skinless halibut filets (or other lean fish such as: snapper or cod) cut into large chunksKosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Suggested garnishes: Homemade aioli, fresh chervil, additional lemon and orange zest
1. Place a large saucepan or stock pot, coated with the olive oil, over medium heat. Sweat the leeks until they are very soft and fragrant (about 10 minutes). Add the carrots and fennel and continue cooking until all of the vegetables have softened (about 15 minutes). Add the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is very fragrant (about two minutes).
2. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the halibut, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. The Bourride can at this point be cooled and stored, covered, in the refrigerator and brought back to a simmer before serving.
3. About 20 minutes before serving, bring the Bourride to a simmer, add the fish pieces and simmer, covered, until the fish is firm and opaque (about 15 minutes).
4. Divide the Bourride in large serving bowls, generously drizzle with tasty extra virgin olive oil, dollop with aioli and sprinkle with fresh chervil.Extra Virgin Olive Oil Aioli
The butter of Provence, this creamy and delicious aioli trumps the store bought stuff and is easy to make.
The aioli can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to five days. Be sure to choose an extra virgin olive oil that has a soft and subtle flavor.
4 egg yolks3 garlic cloves, mashed to a puree with a knife or food processor3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice2 anchovy filets, optional2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper1 ½ cups best quality extra virgin olive oil
1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the garlic, lemon juice, anchovies (if using) and salt and pepper until a smooth paste.
2. Drop by drop, whisk in the olive oil until a thick aioli begins to form. You can do this in a food processor or by hand.
3. Once the aioli begins to form, you start to add the oil in a bit faster. If the aioli appears to be too thick, add a bit more lemon juice.
4. Store the aioli covered, in the refrigerator, for up to five days.Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.