This recipe by Sébastien Piel is quintessentially French, featuring ocean trout with puff pastry and Swiss brown mushrooms. The mushrooms give an earthiness to the dish and balance the seafood. Pot-ready black mussels are available from most fishmongers and come already cleaned and bearded for those short on time. Sébastien usually makes his own puff pastry but for ease and convenience we’ve substituted frozen puff pastry.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 60 g butter
- 300 g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 300 g baby spinach
- 6 sheets frozen puff pastry
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 kg whole ocean trout, filleted (see Note), skinned, pin-boned
- 50 g butter, at room temperature
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 kg pot-ready black mussels (see Note)
- 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
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.
Chilling time 1 hour
Heat oil and 1 tbsp butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until softened and liquid has evaporated. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Melt remaining butter, then add onions and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add spinach and cook for 1 minute or until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Drain, cool, then squeeze spinach to remove liquid.
Place a sheet of baking paper, slightly longer than the fish fillets, on a large oven tray. Top with 3 pastry sheets, slightly overlapping, to make a rectangle a little longer than the fish fillets. Brush overlapping sections of pastry with egg to seal.
Place 1 fish fillet in the centre of pastry and season lightly with salt. Top with mushroom and spinach mixtures, then the second fish fillet, so the thick end is over the thin end of the first fillet. Make a second pastry rectangle with remaining pastry on a separate sheet of baking paper. Brush around pastry filling with egg, top with second pastry rectangle and press edges of pastry together to seal. Refrigerate parcel for at least 1 hour.
Preheat a large oven tray to 200°C. Brush parcel with egg, then, using baking paper underneath, carefully slide parcel onto the preheated tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and fish is just cooked.
Meanwhile, to make sauce, melt 15 g butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add herbs and vegetables to pan and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Increase heat to high, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add mussels and wine, then cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, for 3 minutes or until mussels have opened. Remove mussels from sauce and discard any unopened ones. Remove mussels from shells and set aside.
Strain sauce into a bowl, then return to pan over high heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Remove pan from heat. Roughly chop the remaining butter and add, piece by piece, to sauce and stir until smooth. Return mussels to sauce. Slice fish parcel and serve with sauce.
• Ask your fishmonger to fillet the trout for you; you will need 2 x 40 cm fillets.
• Pot-ready black mussels, available from most fishmongers, are cleaned and bearded.
Photography by Olga Bennett
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.