|Fish with heads||3 Pound|
|Thyme sprig/1 pinch thyme||1|
|Bay leaf/2 small bay leaves||1 Large|
|Parsley||1 Tablespoon, minced fine|
|Stalk celery||1 , minced|
|Canned tomatoes/1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes||5 Ounce (1 Small Can)|
|Black pepper||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Lemon||1⁄2 , sliced very thin|
|Whole raw oysters||12|
|Garlic clove/2 small cloves garlic||1 Large, put through garlic press or chopped very fine|
|Raw shrimp/Boiled crabmeat / both||1 Cup (16 tbs), peeled and cleaned|
|Cayenne pepper/Tabasco sauce||5 Dash|
|Carrot||1 , sliced fairly thin|
|Olive oil||2 Tablespoon|
|Sherry||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
To begin this complicated dish, which is one of the classic favorites of both Creoles and Louisiana Cajuns, you must make the fish savory.
Rub it well with salt and pepper.
Crush the cloves and allspice with a potato masher or wooden mallet (this method is much superior to buying spices already ground).
Rub the fish thoroughly with this mixture and part of the chopped garlic.
Wrap the fish in waxed paper so that it may absorb the fragrance of the spices.
Chop 2 onions fairly fine.
In a Dutch oven or similar pot, fry the carrot, chopped onions, and the rest of the garlic in olive oil and butter until golden brown.
Slice one onion, put it in a pot with about 1 quart water, the thyme, bay leaf, parsley, and celery.
Add the fish heads, bring to a boil, and allow to simmer.
When the stock has simmered to about 1 pint it is just right.
Strain the liquid.
Now you are ready to begin the actual putting together of one of the noblest of the Deep South's Creole fish confections.
Lay the seasoned fish slices atop the golden fried carrot onion and garlic mixture, cover tightly, cook for 10 minutes or so, and then remove the fish.
Add the tomatoes and fish stock, and saffron to color the dish the typical Bouillabaisse yellow.
Add the lemon slices.
Add the oysters, shrimp, and/or crabmeat.
Be sure that this brew is now salted and peppered (with both black and cayenne pepper) to taste.
Let boil until the liquid is reduced by about one half, and then lay the fish carefully back in the pot, add the sherry, and let boil for another 5 or 10 minutes.
You'll have to watch carefully to see that the fish doesn't overcook to the point where it falls apart; but on the other hand be sure, by testing one fish slice or fillet, that it's cooked all the way through.
Half done fish is never good.