About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Fish & Shellfish Medley
Picture by Michael Blamey

In a recent post for Wine Blogging Wednesday, I created a dish to go with champagne that was the featured wine. It has occurred to me that I never gave the recipe for what was a memorable match, though this fish and shellfish medley could easily partner a different wine - a crisp, dry reisling or a fruitier sauvignon blanc for example.

The dish itself is easy to do as most of the work can be done beforehand, leaving only the frying of the fish and scallops until the last minute, and really, who doesn't like the combination of fish and shellfish? Only the mussels are a little bit fiddly with pulling off the beard a must and the scallops need to have the black intestinal tract and supporting gristle trimmed off as well. Do you remove the scallop coral? Depends on you, for some dishes I do remove it, for this one it didn't seem necessary as it blends well with the orange of the mussels. Don't be tempted to make this dish without the mussels as they contribute so much flavour to the sauce.

Fish & Shellfish Medley

4 thick fillets of firm white fish, 5 cm (2") wide
20 scallops, cleaned
oil for frying
1/2 kg (1 lb) mussels, debearded
100 ml (3 fl oz) dry vermouth
500 ml (17 fl oz) home made fish stock
pinch saffron threads
40 g (2 oz) unsalted butter, in small pieces
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Put a large pot on high heat and when very hot put in the mussels and vermouth, then place lid on the pot. Shake every 30 seconds until all the mussels are opened, about two minutes. Strain the mussels through a seive and keep the mussel liquor. Clean the pot and put in the mussel liquor, fish stock and saffron threads and boil hard until well reduced to about 1 cup of liquid. Remove the mussels from the shell and keep warm. Most recipes advise to discard any mussels that remain closed, but I never do, I just prise the shell open and remove the meat. If in doubt smell. Fry the fish fillets in a little oil in a non stick pan, skin side first, until just cooked, then turning the heat to high, fry the scallops for about 30 seconds each side. Keep warm. Add the butter two pieces at a time to the reduced fish stock and whisk or swirl in, when dissolved add more butter and repeat until all the butter is incorporated, then add the parsley. Taste for seasoning, add salt if needed. Place the fillets of fish onto plates, surround with the scallops and mussels and pour the sauce over. Posted by Picasa
  posted at 7:47 am

At 8:52 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

turning food for thought to food

At 12:59 am, Blogger Jeanne said...

Could that look any more delicious? Nope, didn't think so. ;-)

Brave man to go prying open mussel shells! But maybe that's just years of warnings from grown-ups talking.

At 7:25 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi anon, you betcha!

Hi jeanne, the mussel thing is a virtually unquestioned rule. I broke it one day when some mussels I had bought fresh and placed in the fridge for a few hours refused for the most part to open. Figuring that maybe the sudden transition from the cold to the heat may have stopped them from opening we ate them all anyway to no ill effects. Later on I watched an interview with the owner of a Belgium cafe and he said that sometimes the hinge on some mussels freezes up and there was nothing wrong with eating the closed ones. The choice is yours, let your nose be your guide!

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I'm loving this recipe!


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