We have a kitchen trick that’s going to rock your world. If you haven’t heard of court bouillon, don’t worry, we hadn’t either. Until Brian DiMarco of Harlem Standard introduced us. But this technique to steam everything from shrimp cocktail to vegetables is going to take your culinary game to new heights.
The Court Bouillon Method
Some cooking techniques are complicated, but yield worthwhile results. That’s not the case with the French technique of court bouillon. Court bouillon is the method where you boil a combination of vegetables, wine, butter and herbs, and use it to steam food. It’s mostly used with seafood and fish, and for something so simple, it makes a huge difference on the taste of your dish.
It’s an Art, not a Science
There’s no exact proportion or exact ingredients for court bouillon. It’s really anything that’s aromatic, and it’s a great way to use those left over veggies in your fridge that may not be optimal for serving. We suggest extra fennel, carrots, onions, celery, butter, salt and leftover white wine. When you add citrus, it just takes it all to the next level. Oranges especially make a difference, as do meyer lemons.
The results create the most delicate flavors in your seafood. It’s perfect if you’re making a chilled seafood tower of lobster, crab, shrimp cocktail, clams and mussels. Or if you’re making seafood paella, just slightly undercook your protein before adding it to the paella in the last five minutes of cooking, especially with the mussels.
To make the court bouillon, roughly chop all your veggies, herbs, and onion, and pour it into the bottom part of the steamer. Add a bottle of wine – even different types. Rose works too. Add a stick of butter and generous salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour. Steam your seafood and enjoy.
If you want to up your presentation, check out our video on how to DIY an impressive seafood tower with dishes you have laying around the house. Once you go court bouillon, you never go back.