Grilled Garlic Crostini with Rouille:
1. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Put the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat; when it's melted, add the chopped fennel bulb, onion, orange zest, the remaining teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Stir to coat everything with butter, cover the pan (see Note), and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat so nothing browns. Add the chicken stock and orange juice and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Puree in batches in a blender and set aside.
2. A couple of hours before your guests arrive, put a sauté pan over high heat, add the shrimp, stir-fry quickly for about 2 minutes or until the shrimp is just cooked. Set aside.
3. Heat the soup, add the shrimp, float a crostini spread with rouille on top or pass the crostini and the rouille separately. Remove the minced fennel fronds from the fridge and scatter them over the soup.
Note: Covering the pan creates a mini pressure-cooked so the heart of the fennel will cook through quickly.
Grilled Garlic Crostini
Makes 15 crostini
Mix the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl and brush lightly on both sides of the bread slices. Grill for 15 to 20 seconds on each side, until nicely marked, then remove with tongs and set aside. For broiling, position the rack so the slices are 2 inches from the flame and turn when the crostini starts to blacken at the edges.
If you have a gas stove, the easiest way to cook a single red pepper is to lay it on a high flame and just keep turning it with tongs until it's very charred and blackened, then put it in a plastic or Ziploc bag to steam for at least 10 minutes. When the pepper has cooled, remove the peel and seeds and chop the flesh roughly. Dip the bread in water to dampen it a little and lightly squeeze dry. If you have a mortar and pestle, put in the red pepper, garlic, hot red pepper flakes, paprika, and salt, and pound together to a paste. Continuing to pound with the pestle, gradually adding the bread torn into 1-inch chunks while you drizzle in the olive oil; the mixture will become as thick as mayonnaise. Season to taste with black pepper. Remove from the mortar and set aside.
If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can use a food processor - just put everything in and puree. It's easier but not such a satisfyingly ancient method, and the texture will be more uniformly smooth. Spread each crostini with rouille and float on the hot soup.
If you prefer, slice and bake the whole loaf and bring the crostini to the table in a basket with a double batch of rouille in a separate bowl. Everyone can spread their own and float it on the soup, or not.
When Marvin Gapultos had a craving for adobo but didn’t know how to make it, he decided to learn his family’s recipes. Since then, he has shared the flavors of Filipino food through his Los Angeles-based food truck The Manila Machine, on his blog Burnt Lumpia, and in The Adobo Road Cookbook.