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Dec 23, 2011 09:14 AM

Bread substitute

I am cooking a seafood stew for someone with celiacs. The recipe calls for a Saffron Garlic sauce.

Saffron Garlic Sauce
1 cup crustless day-old French bread, in 1/2-inch cubes
2 or 3 garlic cloves
Pinch of saffron, about 1/8 teaspoon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley.
1. Soak the bread in cold water for 1 minute and squeeze dry. Mash garlic and salt into a paste. Put it in a mortar with the bread and pound together with the saffron, or mix it all in a blender.
2. Gradually whisk in the olive oil to make a thick sauce. Add the lemon juice, parsley and salt. Keep the sauce at room temperature.

What can I substitute for the bread in this recipe?


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  1. This recipe without the bread looks like an aioli with saffron. You could totally eliminate the bread, although I know there are GF breads out there. Aioli is thick like mayonnaise and would be lovely dolloped over a bowl of seafood stew.

    1. You could add a little corn meal to approximate the texture of the original recipe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rcallner

        ??? cornmeal is gritty, nothing like soaked and pounded crustless bread. I wouldn't even substitute an all-cornmeal cornbread.

        What the OP has is a version of rouille,
        This is one many condiments or garnish that are used in southern France (Provence), and neighboring countries.

        Pistou is a basil based puree, like the Italian pesto. Romesco is a Spanish one, the may have bread, or nuts (almonds etc), or just sweet peppers as the base. Picada a Catalan version (which may have nuts and parsley).

        Skordalia is a Greek potato and garlic dip.

        1. re: visciole

          Pureed white beans sounds like a winner. There are already potatoes in this stew and i think the beans and garlic may even be better than the bread.

          Here is the rest of the stew recipe. It came from a NY Times article here -

          I modifed a few steps and have added some ingredients.

          The Stew
          1 dozen medium-small clams, like littlenecks
          1 dozen shrimp
          1 pound mussels
          3/4 pound monkfish or other firm-fleshed white fish, in 1-inch cubes
          3/4 pound scrod, flounder, or other soft-fleshed white fish, in 1-inch cubes
          3/4 pound squid, in 1/2-inch rings, plus tentacles
          1/2 pound bay scallops, optional
          Salt and pepper
          4 tablespoons olive oil
          2 cups medium-diced onions
          3 cups medium-diced leeks, rinsed of grit
          1/2 cup diced canned tomato
          2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or a few thyme sprigs
          1 bay leaf
          Pinch of saffron, about 1/8 teaspoon
          4 garlic cloves, chopped
          1 teaspoon paprika
          Pinch red pepper flakes
          6 cups fish stock, chicken broth, or water
          1 pound Yellow Finn or russet potatoes, peeled, in 1/2-inch slices
          ¼ pound Pancetta
          ½ cup white wine
          2 or 3 Anchovie fillets
          Garlic-saffron sauce, see recipe.
          1. Soak the clams in cold water to remove grit and sand, then drain. Rinse and de-beard the mussels. Put the monkfish, scrod, squid and bay scallops (if using) in separate small bowls. Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper.
          2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and let it render and get a bit crispy. Add the onions and leeks, season with salt, and cook for a few minutes. Add chopped garlic, cook another few minutes. Add white wine and cook down until most of the wine is evaporated. Push onions to the side and add the tomato paste and anchovie in the open space, mix and cook the paste and anchovies for a few minutes before incorporating with onions. Add thyme, bay leaf, paprika and red pepper flakes. Cook for another few minutes stirring so as not to burn mixture.
          3. Warm the stock in a separate pan with the saffron. Turn the heat to high, add the fish stock, chicken broth or water, and bring to a boil. Taste for salt and adjust to taste. Add the potatoes and reduce the heat so they simmer gently until firm-tender, about 10 minutes. (The stew may be prepared to this point up to 2 hours ahead.)
          NOTE: I really like the idea of letting the stew sit for at least an hour after the potatoes are done. Keep off the heat and covered. Let the flavors mix and mingle.
          4. To finish the stew, return the heat to a brisk simmer. Add the clams and cook till they open, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mussels, monkfish and scrod and simmer until the mussels open, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the squid and scallops, if using, and cook 1 minute more. Turn off the heat, stir in the garlic-saffron sauce.


        2. A GF bread would be the obvious answer, but, I have to say, the flavor would not be the same... how about cooked rice? I like the white bean suggestion, too. Best solution would be to find a recipe that does not even include bread.
          good luck,

          1. Here is a link to a rouille recipe that doesn't include bread. I think it would work well with your recipe.