Kate's Global Kitchen

by Kate Heyhoe


Courtbouillon a la Creole

Redfish Stewed with Tomatoes, Herbs, and Wine


Serves 4 to 6

This is one of the many Creole dishes with a name that means something entirely different in France. On the Continent a courtbouillon is merely the flavored liquid used to poach fish.

"Those kings of the New Orleans French Market, the Red Snapper or the Redfish, are used in making the pride and glory of the New Orleans cuisine, a good 'Courtbouillon'" write the authors of The Picayune's Creole Cook Book. "More generally and with finer results the Redfish or 'Poisson Rouge' is used. This fish may always be known by the single spot on its tail." They recommend serving the dish with French fries, mashed potatoes, or potato croquettes, though rice will also certainly work just fine.


  • 1/4 cup lard, or substitute
  • peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 10 whole allspice, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 6 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped,
  •    or 2-1/2 cups canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine, preferably Bordeaux
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • A 3-pound redfish or red snapper, cut into 6 steaks or slices


Heat the lard or oil in a large nonreactive saucepan over moderate heat. To make a roux, add the flour and cook, stirring until it is the color of peanut butter, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the allspice, thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, onion, parsley, and garlic. Sauté until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine, and 2-1/4 cups water, bring to a bring to a boil, and simmer 20 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne to taste and continue cooking 5 minutes longer.

Gently add the fish steaks, then the lemon juice and simmer until the fish is just cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve in bowls.

Selected Recipes for Mardi Gras

—from Around The American Table

More about Mardi Gras and Carnaval.

This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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