Playing Chef in the Kitchen – Bouillabaisse with Kitchen Aid:
Like most people I am a real fan of Kitchen Aid small kitchen appliances – mixers, blenders and multicookers. What I didn’t realise, until I was invited along to the Kitchen Aid store on Wigmore Street was that they also make large kitchen appliances (hobs, ovens, fridges, dishwashers and more) and that they also have a rather stunning range of utensils.
I don’t need a new kitchen…so I guess I am quite safe to go along for a cookery class surrounded by such temptation. And, I’m very pleased I accepted the invitation to attend the new Kitchen Aid cookery school. My class, led by Emma and part of an introductory series, was a lesson in how to make a simple Mediterranean style Bouillabaisse. While I’ve seen recipes which are more complicated, the Bouillabaisse we learnt to cook took around half an hour from start to finish and, in addition to having enough to eat a substantial lunch, I had three more portions to take home.
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion Thinly Sliced
- 1/2 Small Fennel Bulb Thinly Sliced
- 2 Large Cloves of Garlic Finely Chopped
- 1 Red Pepper Deseeded and Sliced
- 1 tablespoon Spanish Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Saffron Soaked in a tablespoon of boiling water
- 2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 300 ml White Wine
- 200 ml Fish Stock
- 4 Ripe Tomatoes Desseded and finely diced
- 50 g Tomato Puree
- 450 g Charlotte Potatoes Peeled and cut into slices
- 400 g Firm white fish We used monkfish - Cod or Seabass would also work. Skinned and cut into large chunks
- 12 Large Uncooked prawns Peeled and deveined
- 16 Mussels Cleaned
- 1 bunch Flat Leaf Parsley Finely Chopped
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Heat the oil in a large saute pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft but not brown. Add the fennel, garlic and pepper and fry gently for another 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the paprika, sffron mixture, vinegar, wine, stock, diced tomatoes and tomato puree and then the sliced potatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes or so until the potatoes are cooked and the sauce has thickened. Season carefully with salt and pepper.
Place the monkfish on top of the sauce, cover and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the prawns, then the mussels, cover and cook for another 4 minutes until the mussels are open. Discard any mussels that haven't opened properly
Check the seasoning then sprinkle over the fresh parsley to serve.
Perfect with toasted crusty bread.
I suspect part of the reason the recipe worked so well was that instead of adding in all the fish together, it was layered on top of the sauce so that nothing was overcooked.
And, instead of breaking up, each morsel of fish and shellfish was just steamed to perfection
I also liked the use of fennel, which added a lovely anise note to the dish.
The success of the event was perhaps partly down to a very small class size – just six of us – and partly down to having some fabulous kitchen equipment to play with. I’ve checked and Kitchen Aid is offering a new range of courses for 2017 which look to be slightly longer but are still limited to classes of 6 maximum and held in the Kitchen Aid London Experience Store.
Definitely worth visiting if you want to improve your cookery skills. Take care though, if you are in the market for a new kitchen you might just find it hard to resist!
KitchenAid London Experience Store
98 Wigmore Street, London
Phone Number 020 7935 2575
Meanwhile, if you want to try the Bouillabaisse at home, why not pin this recipe for later