Sète Monkfish Bourride
The Bourride de Baudroie, or Bourride Sètoise is a traditional fish speciality from the Southern town of Sète. The Languedoc-Roussillon Bourride is a classic Mediterranean fish stew or soup often compared to the Provence Bouillabaisse from Marseilles. But what makes the difference with other fish casseroles is that the original recipe from Sète exclusively includes fresh monkfish from the region.
The southwest Bourride originates from the traditional Mediterranean gastronomy. It is actually knowns as "Bourride de Baudroie" since "baudroie" refers to the Provencal name for monkfish. Indeed, the speciality from Sète is highly inspired by the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur food traditions.
According to Languedoc-Roussillon's legends, the Bourride was originally a rich fish dish highly renowned for being fit for gods. Thus it is believed in the South of France that the Greek Gods would come to Marseille to relish the delightful Bourride when they got bored with Olympus!
Less complicated and expensive than the Marseille Bouillabaisse, the Southwest speciality consists in cooking white fishes with the well-known aioli sauce and a mix of fresh vegetables.
The traditional Sètoise recipe includes a fish stock made with filleted monkfish, onions, garlic and sliced leeks and potatoes. The fillets are steamed before being baked in a garlic and olive oil sauce, with all the vegetables and aromatic herbs. In some other cities of Southern France, the Bourride stew is purgent with saffron or white wine.
The convivial fish dish is eventually accompanied with a bowl of aioli mayonnaise to spread on slices of French bread toasted or fried in olive oil, just as the French gourmets do with the Brandade de Morue. In some gastronomic restaurants in Languedoc-Roussillon, they like to serve the broth first, on its own, then the fish and vegetables and finally the aioli with bread.