from Philippe Mouchel
This recipe from renowned Melbourne chef Philippe Mouchel is an ode to his home of Normandy, featuring a medley of seafood, the best butter and cream, and apple cider, which Philippe describes as ‘Normandy champagne’. Philippe starts by making a fumet – a concentrated fish stock – using the bones of the fish. If you can’t find cider from Normandy, opt for another deep-coloured dry cider, or use a dry white wine.
50 g butter
1 onion, finely sliced
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
bones from 2 john dory (or similar white fi sh), cut into large pieces
250 ml dry cider or dry white wine
bouquet garni of 2 parsley stalks, 1 bay leaf and 1 thyme sprig (tied together with string)
4 large raw prawns
70 g butter, plus extra for the dish
2 French shallots, finely diced
500 g mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
100 ml dry cider or dry white wine
100 g small button mushrooms, stems trimmed
4 john dory fillets (or similar white fish) weighing about 160 g each, skin on
10 g butter
freshly ground black pepper
200 ml cream
1 tablespoon whipped cream
4 large oysters, shucked, juices reserved
1 tablespoon finely chopped
To make the fumet, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the fish bones and pour over the cider or wine, then add the bouquet garni and bring to simmering point, skimming well. Simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to rest for a further 20 minutes. Strain the fumet through a fine sieve and set aside.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the prawns for 3–4 minutes, until their shells change colour, then drain and leave to cool. Shell them, leaving their heads and tails intact, and set aside.
Melt 50 g of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add half the shallots, the mussels and the cider or wine and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the mussels open. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and set aside. Remove the mussels from their shells and set aside.
Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan and add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of water and a splash of lemon juice. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Butter a baking dish large enough for the fish fillets to lay flat inside (or use 2 dishes). Place the fish in the dish and dot with a little more butter. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining shallots and pour on the fumet. Press a sheet of baking paper over the surface of the fish and bake for about 8 minutes, or until not quite cooked through.
Turn off the oven and open the door for a few moments to let some of the heat escape. Transfer the fish fillets to a serving dish and cover with foil. Return to the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.
Pour the cooking juices from the fish and the reserved mussel liquid into a saucepan. Bring to the boil over moderately high heat and cook until reduced by half. Add the pouring cream and reduce until lightly thickened. Add the whipped cream, shelled mussels, mushrooms and prawns to heat through. Finally, add the oysters and their juices and a little more lemon juice.
To serve, spoon the mussels, prawns, oysters, mushrooms and sauce over the fish and sprinkle with parsley.
Originally Published in FrenchEntrée Magazine