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Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough take an unconventional, yet intuitive approach to cooking in their recent cookbook, Cooking Know-How. They focus on basic techniques and recipe styles, then suggest using them with different ingredients to produce a variety of dishes. In this case, they offer a simple approach to bouillabaisse, a seafood stew.

* Start to finish: 1 1/2 to 2 hours (50 minutes active). Makes 6 to 8 servings.

* What you'll need:

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces diced shallots (about 4 shallots)

1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon finely minced orange zest

1/2 teaspoon saffron

2 bay leaves

6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) fish broth

2 pounds thick fish fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces (such as halibut, grouper and cod)

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt, to taste

1 batch rouille (recipe below)

* How to do it:

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium. Add the shallots, fennel and garlic. Saute until just soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, orange zest, saffron and bay leaves. Cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, stirring often, about 6 minutes.

Add the fish broth and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add the fish and shrimp, then return to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes.

Season with salt and stir in the rouille until thickened.


* Start to finish: 5 minutes. Makes 1 batch.

* What you'll need:

2 whole jarred roasted red peppers

3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs

1/2 cup olive oil

* How to do it:

In a food processor, combine the peppers, garlic and salt. Process until smooth. Add the bread crumbs and process again until fairly smooth. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream.

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