by Prof. Steve Holzinger
Preparation Time: 0:30
Chop everything coarsely. Bring to a boil covered, simmer 20 minutes.
Strain, then add salt and pepper. Equivalent amount of peelings and trimmings of the vegetables is economical and appropriate. However remember that standard preparations aid in up to standard results.
Court Boullion means short boil. It is an acidulated vegetable stock, used to poach fish or fowl. The acid firms the flesh and keeps it white. Using a vegetable stock to poach helps to add instead of subtract flavor from what is being cooked, as plain water would. This should be about as sour as lemonade
Shellfish, especially live ones like lobster, should be immersed in boiling court boullion, head first to kill them. For large lobsters, (over 3-4 lbs) blanching them in this way shortens the time at high heat like oven or broiler, and so avoids toughening them.
Blanching "lobster tails" to be broiled half way, and finishing under the broiler avoids toughening them.
For shrimps and crabs, add 1-2 tbls Old Bay Seafood Seasoning, (often called Crab Boil) Undercook and allow to finish by cooling in the court boullion for best flavor.
For delicate fresh water fish, such as trout or pike, soften chopped shallots in butter, and add water and white wine half and half. Use little or no lemon juice. Finish with appropriate aromatic herbs. Also see Moules Marinere immediately below.
After cooking, this broth can be reduced and used as a stock for the sauce to go with the dish.
Preparation Time: 0:25
Melt the butter in the pot you are going to steam the mussels in.
Add the chopped shallots and crushed peppercorns. Cook gently till the shallots are soft mut not brown. Add parsley sprigs.
Wash and beard (pull the string from the side) the mussels. Any that are open and do not close after a tap on the shell, discard. Add to the pot.
Add water and white wine, and a little fresh lemon juice if the wine is no acid enough.
Cover and bring to a hard boil, just until the mussels open and will part from the shell with only a little urging. At this point You can serve the dish as it is as Moule Mariniere.
Place some rusks or ships biscuit in a soup dish, and pour the broth and mussels over. Don't forget a bowl for the shells. This is a great dish to cook at an outdoor barbeque, as all you need to do is add the wine and water, cover and bring it to the boil on top of the barbeque. All the prep is done at home. A pound of mussels (about 20) is what you will want per person. I will want a pound and and a half for me, but it averages out. If there are any leftovers, which I call encores, proceed as follows.
Reduce the broth to 3/4 of a cup.
While it reduces, pick the mussels from their shells. Keep as much of the chopped shallots as you can.
Make a roux of the butter and flour, and thicken the reduced broth, by adding with stirring. Bring to the boil and simmer, Add enough heavy cream to bring to the desired thickness.
Add picked mussels, chopped parsley, and season. It won't need much salt, but a little white or cayenne pepper is good. If it dosn't taste just right, nine times out of ten, a little fresh lemon juice will do the trick.
Place in a casserole (flameproof) under the broiler to glaze the top a little. (Attention Lilly Gilders) A dollop of Hollandaise mixed with a dollop of the sauce on top (called a glassage) helps to brown the top and tastes great!
The 92 Feltzer Sundial Chardonnay that I used to make this dish for the eGG was the last bottle I had. It kept getting better and better, fragrant, golden and rich tasting, it made each new mouthful of the mussels taste like the first time I ever ate this dish. Make a note: Went in a good cause.
Suggested Wine: Feltzer Sundial Chardonnay 82. Golden, fragrant!
NOTES : 1= 1 serving or 2 Appetizers. Typical of those dishes where a half sized portion serves as a first hot course.
Preparation Time: 0:35
Sweat the fish bones in the melted butter with the aromatics on a low flame for 5 minutes without browning
Add the white wine, cover and sweat an additional 5 minutes
Add the cold water, cover, bring to the boil, cut to the simmer, and simmer for twenty minutes, no longer.
Strain, cover with saran, cool and refrigerate. Leave the butter cap undisturbed. Keeps up to a week this way. Otherwise, freeze in useable amounts.
Make a roux of the butter and flour
Add the fish stock, bring to the boil, and simmer 10 minutes.
This will be a medium thick, too thick by current standards. If it appears thicker than you like, add more fish stock (about 1 cup).
Add a dash of lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Omit this step if to be used in another sauce that wiil be seasoned.
Preparation Time: 0:15
Pick the crab meat over for shells, gently.
Dice the crustless white bread fine.
Toss the bread dice, crab meat and green and red peppers.
Season lightly to taste.
Beat the mayonaise with the egg yolk, and add just enough to get the mixture to cohere. Treat lightly. The mixture should be moist.
Form into four to six patties, very gently. It should hold together but not be compact.
Roll in bread crumbs. (if they don't stick well, brush with a little of the mayonnaise).
NOTE: For Crab Imperial, delete the bread cubes, use Backfin Lump Crabmeat, use a little more mayonaise and spoon into buttered crumbed shells or casserole, Spoon a litttle of the mayo over the top. Give a shake of cayenne, and bake 350 until lightly browned.
Pan fry in a little oil, turn and do other side. Pour off any excess oil, and next time use less. Add a little butter to finish. Grill a roll in butter and serve on the roll or bun. Tartare Sauce is traditonal, as is a lemon garnish.
Copyright © 1995 Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.
This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.
Copyright © 1995, 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.
Modified August 2007
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