Friday, March 5, 2010

Cajun Coubion - Courtbouillon

A Deep South Courtbouillon is a roux-based fish stew, made with creole tomato sauce, stewed down and reduced, and used to poach fish - often redfish, red snapper or catfish.
A Deep South Courtbouillon is a roux-based fish stew, made with creole tomato sauce, stewed down and reduced, and used to poach fish - often redfish, red snapper or catfish.

Cajun Coubion - Courtbouillon

A court bouillon is a French poaching stock made from water and typical stock veggies - onion, carrots, celery - in which generally fish is cooked. But that's the French.

Down here in The Deep South, Courtbouillon {pronounced COO-bee-YON or COO-bee-ON} is a sort of roux-based, creole tomato sauce, stewed down and reduced, and most commonly used to poach redfish, though red snapper or catfish are fairly traditional also. 

If you enjoy fish, this is a great dish for Lent, that is somewhat similar to Bouillabaisse, though I side with Marcelle Bienvenu, Times Picayune contributor, and author of the fantastic Cajun/Creole cookbook and a top favorite in my personal collection, Who's Your Mama,Are You Catholic, and Can You Make a Roux?

She and I both agree that in most Cajun Courtbouillon, the fish is added in the last minutes of cooking, and only right on the top, then covered over and gently poached, where in a Bouillabaisse, the fish is laid between layers of sauce, and slow simmered for a much longer time.

Very often other seasonal seafood, such as oysters, crawfish and shrimp are also added to both Bouillabaisse and Courtbouillon. It's a great recipe to use some of that microwave roux from yesterday's post.


For Courtbouillon, since the fish is poached right on top of the creole sauce, many types will work, so substitute your favorite fairly firm, white fish, such as grouper, trout, cod, or tilapia.

Once the fish is poached through, carefully ladle it into a deep soup bowl, over steaming rice.  Add a nice, mixed garden salad, a wedge of lemon, some fresh, hot French bread and always, hot sauce to pass at the table.


Cajun Coubion - Courtbouillon

Cajun Coubion - Courtbouillon

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 50 Min
A Deep South Courtbouillon is a roux-based fish stew, made with creole tomato sauce, stewed down and reduced, and used to poach fish - often redfish, red snapper or catfish.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups homemade seafood stock*
  • 2/3 cup microwave roux
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (1 pound 12 ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole/Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama) or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 pounds redfish, red snapper or catfish, cleaned
  • Additional salt and pepper, to taste
  • Green onion, to garnish
  • Fresh parsley, to garnish
  • Hot, steamed rice
  • Hot sauce, for the table
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions

  1. Warm the seafood stock and set aside. In a large, heavy, lidded pot, warm up the roux over medium heat, stirring constantly. If you haven't already, add the onion, celery and bell pepper to the roux and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  2. Using kitchen shears, chop the tomatoes in the can, and add to the roux and veggies. Add the Rotel tomatoes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Stir in the warmed seafood stock and add the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about one hour, or until nicely reduced and thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Add the fish (and other seafood if using) to the top of the sauce, sprinkle it with a bit of additional salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fish is poached and cooked through. Don't stir!
  4. Once the fish is poached through, carefully ladle the courtbouillon into a deep soup bowl, over steaming rice. Add a nice, mixed garden salad, a wedge of lemon, some fresh, hot French bread and always, hot sauce to pass at the table.

Notes:

May substitute 1 (32 ounce) container of commercial seafood stock (like Kitchen Basics), chicken or vegetable broth, or plain water. Substitute your favorite fairly firm, white fish, such as grouper, trout, cod, or tilapia.

Stew, Fish
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