A ragout of seafood with lemon and saffron

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by: Christina






The term ragout refers to a main-dish stew. (The etymologically related Italian ragù is a sauce such as Bolognese used typically to dress pasta). The basic method of preparation involves slow cooking over a low heat. The potential ingredients are many; ragouts may be prepared with or without meat, a wide variety of vegetables may be incorporated, and they may be more or less heavily spiced and seasoned.




ingredients

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serves: 4

large pinch of saffron strands

8 large raw shrimp in shell

2 (2-3 oz/50-75 g) skinned lemon sole (gray sole, or Petrale sole fillets)

8 baby carrots (scraped and trimmed)

8 small very florets of broccoli

8 fine green beans (halved)

8 mussels (cleaned)

4 prepared bay scallops

1/2 cup (100 g) chilled unsalted butter (diced)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nlaldon sea salt flakes, for garnish

VEGETABLE NAGE:

1/2 lemon

1 fennel bulb

1 large onion (peeled)

4 stalks celery

Handful of button mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 leaves bay

3 sprigs of thyme

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) white wine

Nutrition Facts
A ragout of seafood with lemon and saffron

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 273

  • Total Fat: 5 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 45.4 mg
  • Sodium: 720 mg
  • Total Carbs: 34.4 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 7.1 g
  •     Sugars: 10.2 g
  • Protein: 13.2 g
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preparation

1.  Wash the mussels under plenty of cold water. Discard any that are open and won't close up when lightly squeezed. Pull out the tough fibrous beards, or "byssus", protruding from between the tightly closed shells.

2.  Knock off any barnacles with a large knife, then give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little bits of shell.

3.  Put the mussels into a yery large pan with the butter, minced onion, and white wine. Make sure that there is plenty of room in which the mussels can be moved around. lf the pan is overcrowded, those at the bottom will overcook before the heat can reach those at the top, so never more than half-fill the pan.

4.  Cover and cook the mussels over a high heat, shaking the pan vigorously every now and then, for 3 to 4 minutes, until they have all just opened.

5.  Immediately remove the pan from the heat and spoon the mussels into warmed deep bowls, discarding any mussels that have remained closed.

6.  Wash the scallops to remove any sand and weed from the shells. Hold a scallop in one hand, with the flat shell facing uppermost, and slide the blade of a sharp, thin-bladed, flexible knife between the two shells.

7.  Keeping the blade of the knife flat against the top shell, feel for the ligament that joins the meat of the scallop to the shell. Cut through it and lift off the top shell.

8.  Pull out the frilly "skirt" and black stomach sac that surrounds the white scallop meat and pink coral. Rinse away any sand from inside the shell.

9.  Slide the knife under the scallop meat, keeping the blade close to the shell, and cut it away. Pull off and discard the small white ligament attached to the side of the scallop meat.

10.  Rub the bottom of a nonstick frying pan with cold butter. Set the pan over a high heat and, when the butter starts to smoke, add the scallops. Sear them for 2 minutes on each side, pressing down on them lightly with a metal spatula so that they take on a good color.

11.  Transfer the scallops to the plates of ham and salad leaves. Remove the pan from the heat, add some sherry vinegar, and scrape up all the browned residue from the bottom. Return the pan to the heat and whisk in some butter, chopped parsley, and seasoning. Spoon this dressing over the scallops and salad leaves.

12.  For the vegetable nage, pare the zest off the piece of lemon, then cut away and discard all the bitter white pith. Cut the flesh across into slices. Roughly chop all the vegetables and put them into a pan with the lemon zest and flesh, salt, peppercorns, herbs, fennel seeds, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the wine. Cover and let cool for 2 hours.

13.  Strain the nage and pour 5 cups (1.2 liters) into a wide-based pan. (Freeze the rest for later use). Add the saffron, bring to a boil, and boil rapidly until it has reduced to 1/2 cup (120 ml). Transfer to a small pan and set aside.

14.  Hold the body of the shrimp in one hand and firmly twist off the head with the other. Save the heads for making stock, if desired.

15.  Break open the soft shell along the underbelly of each shrimp and peel it away from the flesh. You can leave the last tail segment of the shell in place for some recipes.

16.  Run the tip of a small, sharp knife along the back of the shrimp and pull out the intestinal vein if dark and visible (deveining is not always essential).

17.  Cut each lemon sole fillet diagonally across into four pieces.

18.  Drop the vegetables into a pan of boiling salted water. Bring back to a boil, then drain and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain once more.

19.  Pour about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water into the bottom of a shallow pan with a well-fitting lid. Put a basket steamer into the pan and bring the water to a boil, then lay the prepared fish on the steamer.

20.  Sprinkle the fish with some julienned fresh ginger. Cover with the lid, reduce the heat to medium, and steam for 10 to 12 minutes.

21.  Carefully lift the fish off the steamer onto warmed plates and scatter on some sliced green onions.

22.  Put all the blanched vegetables onto one plate and the shrimp, lemon sole, mussels, and scallops on another plate. Steam the vegetables for 3 minutes and the fish for 3 to 4 minutes. Keep everything warm while you make the sauce.

23.  Drain all the cooking juices from the plate of fish into the reduced stock. Bring back to a boil, then whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until you have a smooth, emulsified sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

24.  To serve, arrange the seafood and vegetables on four warmed plates. Spoon the lemon and saffron sauce over the fish and sprinkle with some sea salt flakes.

Cooks' note:
ALTERNATIVE FISH:
Lobster, oysters, Iangoustines, and freshwater crayfish.

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