This is an outstanding cod fillet recipe which yields a wonderful taste of the sea with the addition of succulent squid and a flavourful fish stock. Stephen Crane's recipe for this classic French fish soup, served with a freshly-cooked cod loin, is perfect for a hearty, filling seafood supper. Prepare the squid earlier in the day, then dice and keep chilled until ready to use. The bouillabaise sauce includes vegetables such as courgette, onion and pepper which are simmered with the fish bones.

For the bouillabaisse, start by cooking the leeks, onion, celery, ½ the courgette and ½ red pepper in a splash of olive oil until softened, for about 5-8 minutes. Then add the fish bones
When this has cooked for 10 minutes, add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Cover with water and the tomato juice, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes
Once simmered put the stock through a muslin cloth. Reduce the stock by half. Keep to one side or chill once cool, if using later
For the fennel, trim and cut into 4 equal wedges. Cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Do the same for the remaining courgette and peppers
Clean and dice the squid into 1cm pieces. Heat the butter in a large frying pan, once foaming, add the squid and cook quickly for no longer than 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside
In the same pan, heat a little more butter and cook the cod for 2-3 minutes each side until firm, but still tender. Remove from the pan and keep in a warm place
To finish the bouillabaisse sauce, bring to the boil and add the butter and reduce to consistency, add the pepper, courgettes, squid and parsley
Finish by heating a small amount of vegetable oil in a frying pan, adding the fennel cut-side down to achieve a golden-brown colour. To serve, pour the bouillabaise sauce into a bowl, place the fish on top and finally lay a piece of fennel onto each fillet
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Bouillabaise sauce

To plate


  1. Muslin cloth

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This cod fillet recipe from Ockenden Manor's Stephen Crane is a a celebration of seafood as the cod fillet is served in a delicious bouillabaisse sauce