According to local legend, this Normandy classic was created in the 1960s by the owner of La Marmite, an authentic tavern for sailors and mariners, which was renowned for wonderful Dieppe-style fish dishes.
16 large mussels, scrubbed, bearded
2 tbsp dry white wine
50 g butter, chopped
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
½ onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
125 ml (½ cup) dry apple cider
600 g firm fish fillets (red snapper, flathead), cut into 6 cm pieces
12 green prawns, peeled, cleaned
12 scallops, roe on
100 ml pouring cream
chervil sprigs, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place mussels and wine in a large saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to the boil, shaking pan occasionally. Cook for 6 minutes or until mussels have opened. Strain, reserving 60 ml cooking liquid. Remove mussel meat from shells, discarding shells, and set aside.
Melt butter in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add leek, onion and celery, and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add 60 ml cider and place fish on top of onion mixture. Cover with a large sheet of baking paper and cook for 6 minutes, turning fish halfway, or until fish is just cooked. Transfer fish to a serving plate and keep warm.
Add remaining 65 ml cider to the pan with reserved mussel liquid. Top with prawns and scallops, cover with baking paper and cook for 4 minutes or until prawns are just cooked. Transfer prawns and scallops to plate with fish.
Add cream to the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, add mussel meat and cook for a further minute or until heated through. Serve fish, prawns and scallops topped with mussel and onion mixture, and scattered with chervil sprigs.
Drink 2010 Domaine des Amourex Muscadet Sur Lie, Loire, France ($10)
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 12, pg85.
Photography by Brett Stevens