Steamed fillet of brill with poached oysters


by: Basilico

Part of what makes this luxurious dish so delicious is that the brill, and oysters have a similar texture and the same soft, gentle flavors.


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serves: 4

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) Fish Stock

1/4 cup (50 g) butter

1 shallot (minced)

1/4 cup dry white wine

16 oysters

4 (8-oz/225-g) brill fillets

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon chopped chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Facts
Steamed fillet of brill with poached oysters

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 343

  • Total Fat: 16.9 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 5.8 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 106.4 mg
  • Sodium: 733.2 mg
  • Total Carbs: 28.2 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
  •     Sugars: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 17 g

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1.  To fillet the fish, cut around the back of the head, down to the backbone, using a sharp, thin-bladed, flexible knife. Then make a cut down the center of the fish, from head to tail.

2.  Starting at the head, slide the knife under one fillet and carefully cut it away, keeping the blade as flat and as close to the bones as possible. Remove the adjacent fillet, then turn the fish over and repeat.

3.  Lay the fillet skin-side down, with the narrowest end facing you. Hold the tip of the skin with your fingers and, angling the blade of the knife down toward the skin and working it away from you, start to cut between the flesh and the skin. Firmly take hold of the skin and continue to work away from you, sawing the knife from side to side, keeping the blade close against the skin until the fillet is released.

4.  Trim the frills away from the edge of the skin less fillet to give it a neat finish.

5.  Slice the fillets diagonally into goujons about the thickness of your little finger.

6.  Put the fish stock into a small pan and boil it rapidly until reduced to about 1/2 cup (120 ml).

7.  Melt 1/2 tablespoon (7 g) of the butter in a medium-sized pan. Cut the rest into small pieces. Add the shallot to the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the wine and simmer until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add the reduced fish stock and keep warm.

8.  Wrap one hand in a towel and hold the oyster in it, flat shell facing uppermost. Push the point of an oyster knife into the hinge, Iocated at the narrowest point.

9.  Work the knife back and forth quite forcefully until the hinge breaks and you can slide the knife in between the two shells.

10.  Twist the point of the knife upward to lever up the top shell and locate the ligament that joins the oyster meat to it. lt will be slightly right of the center of the top shell. Cut through it with the knife and lift off the top shell. Keep the bottom shell upright so as not to lose any of the juices, although for this dish you need to pour away half of the juices.

11.  Clean four of the deeper shells for serving.

12.  Season the fish fillets on both sides with a little salt and lay them on a heatproof plate. Place a rack or an upturned plate in a large pan and pour in about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a vigorous simmer, then put the plate on the rack, cover the pan, and steam for 4 minutes. Lift the fish out of the steamer and pour the juices from the plate into the sauce. Cover the fish and keep it warm.

13.  Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, add the oysters and their juice, and poach for 2 minutes. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and keep them warm with the brill.

14.  Add the cream to the sauce and simmer vigorously for 3 minutes. Then whisk in the remaining butter, a few pieces at a time, to form an emulsified sauce. Stir in the chives and season with black pepper and a little salt, if necessary.

15.  To serve, place the fish fillets skin-side down on four warmed plates. Rest an oyster shell alongside the fish on each plate. Put a poached oyster in each shell and arrange the rest over and around the fish. Pour the sauce over the top and serve.

Cooks' note:
This is a dish where only a few fish will do-turbot, lemon sole, gray sole, Petrale sole, winter or summer flounder, or john dory.

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