The last meal.  In our family’s grand tradition, an elaborate home cooked meal always serves as the final dinner before someone embarks on a long trip.  This time, the trip was my youngest sister, Amanda, leaving for her freshman year at Indiana University.

A variety of seafood in a spicy tomato broth was all she wanted.  My grandmother’s recipe for Bouillabaisse seemed to answer all of her requests for the token “last meal.”  It’s a simple recipe to make, and next to impossible to mess up.  All you need is a variety of seafood and an extremely large pot.

Bouillabaisse with Lobster, Scallops, Shrimp, Clams, Calamari and Cod

Bouillabaisse with Lobster, Scallops, Shrimp, Clams, Calamari and Cod

First, you want to create the tomato base, cooking before adding all of the seafood.  Sautee onions, leeks and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes.  Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, clam juice and seasoning.  Be sure the tomato mixture tastes to your liking before adding the seafood (it will be hard to adjust seasoning once seafood as been added).

You can prepare the tomato mixture in advance, reheating 15-20 minutes before you want to serve.  Add the seafood, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Serve warm, and enjoy!



Gomar’s Bouillabaise


  • ½ c. olive oil
  • 1 c. onions, chopped
  • 1 leek, cut up
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 c. tomatoes, chopped or 1 lb. can
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 c. white wine
  • 1 c. clam juice
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lobsters, cut up
  • 1 lb. calamari, cleaned and cut up
  • 12 shrimp, cleaned
  • 12 clams
  • 12 scallops
  • 1 lb. fillet of sole or flounder


  1. Heat oil in large pot
  2. Add garlic, onions, leek and bay leaf, cooking for 5 minutes
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, clam juice, parsley and pepper flakes, cooking 15 minutes
  4. Add seafood and fish and cook 15 minutes more
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste
  6. Serve with bread and a salad

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