Many of the top three-star restaurants all over France served this dish 40 years ago. It’s a great classic French dish to learn and perfect for a special occasion. You can use prawns as an alternative to yabbies.
- 10 cooked large yabbies
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 French shallot, finely sliced
- ½ cup finely diced fennel
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 20 ml cognac
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) white wine
- 250 ml (1 cup) fish stock
- 2 tbsp thin cream
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- juice of ¼ lemon
- ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp finely sliced chives
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.
Detach the yabby heads from the body and peel the tails. Reserve the heads and shells and refrigerate the tails.
Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan over high heat. When very hot, add the yabby heads and tail shells and stir for 2-3 minutes or until the shells change colour. Add the shallot, fennel, thyme and bay leaf and stir well. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir well. Stir in the cognac, wine and stock, then add the diced tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the cream, cayenne pepper and lemon juice and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Strain the yabby sauce through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan, pressing on the shells firmly to extract as much flavour as possible.
To serve, gently reheat the yabby tails in the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic. Ladle into deep soup plates and sprinkle with chives.
• This dish requires some cooking experience. A successful result depends on the strong shellfish taste of the sauce. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Taste le Tour with Gabriel Gaté starts Saturday 7 July 2018 on SBS and then on SBS On Demand and finishes 29 July 2018. Visit the Taste le Tour website to catch-up on episodes, cook up his recipes or find out more about the series.