Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is Seafood Pot-au-feu. Traditionally, a pot-au-feu is a traditional French beef stew that translates literally to „Pot on the Fire“ – Dorie´s version with different types of fish and shellfish is essentially a seafood stew and rather easy to reproduce in your home kitchen.
Pot-au-feu usually combines several cuts of meat and marrowbones into a broth with vegetables, and can constitute a three course meal all on its own. The broth is served as a soup, the meat with mustard, the marrow with bread.
It is considered to be the quintessence of French family cuisine, this must be the most celebrated dish in France. It honors the tables of the rich and not so rich alike. Despite its lack of sophistication, it has survived the passage of time. Pot-au-feu has been referred to as „a triumph of simplicity“ (what a rather unique way to describe this) and the inspiration for many other dishes, such as poule au pot, potée au choux, navarin, daubes, carbonnades and not forgetting the beautiful chicken soup. You can feast on it for several days.
Dorie´s recipe is at the same time traditional and non traditional – the essence of the pot-au-feu is retained with the preparation of the broth and the vegetables but the meat is taken out and replaced with seafood (fresh salmon and prawns in my case – as I could not get my hands on mussels today).
For the vegetables, I went with new potatoes, spring onions, carrots, leeks, baby portabellas, and peas. A nice mix of tasty and colorful.
To serve, you could simply serve the pot-au-feu straight from the casserole and let your delighted diners help themselves, but serving will be easier if you portion the vegetables as well as the seafood in your kitchen. Divide the fish between warm soup plates, surround with the vegetables and pour on some of the cooking liquid. Finish with fresh basil leaves or sprinkle with chopped parsley and accompany with homemade pesto (I prepared a wild ramp-basil pesto), aïoli or a rouille provençale (I used garlic, saffron, cayenne pepper, egg yolk, a mild olive oil, French sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper) and grilled slices of French baguette.
A delicious, colourful springtime or summer dish, full of flavor from the vegetables and the fresh seafood. Combining fresh fish and fabulous vegetables this way in a dish, is really very simple, and it renders a very satisfying and nutritious meal with a touch of elegance...
To see whether the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this week´s recipe, please go here.
For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for the Seafood Pot-au-feu on pages 308-10 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".