Thursday, 28 May 2009

Bisque.




Few people have asked for the recipe for the (seabass & prawn) bisque i did in one of invention challenges in the masterchef finals, so here's a general guide which you can adapt ow-eva-ya-like:

For 4:

4 portion sized fillets of bass
12 large king / tiger prawns

Rough guide for the bisque:

5 carrots - peeled & roughly diced
2 onions - roughly diced
1 bulb fennel - roughly chopped
6 sticks of celery - roughly diced
2 cloves garlic - roughly chopped
some herbs - sprig or two of thyme, few parsley stalks a bay leaf or 2
teaspoon of tomato puree / 3 -4 tomatoes
plus if you have them...few fennel seeds, few whole peppercorns (white are best if u got both), perhaps few coriander seeds if you fancy
a small wine glass of brandy
half a bottle of half decent white wine
a small pot of double cream
butter, olive oil, salt n pepper
juice of 1-2 lemons

Vegetable garnish:

3-4 tomatoes - peeled (if you can be bothered), seeded and diced into smallish squares
2 -3 large waxy potatoes - peeled and diced in to 1-2cm dice
a large handful of spinach per person - washed and any large stalkidge picked off
herbs - pref 2 choices from: finely chopped parsley/ picked sprigs of chervil or dill / finely shredded basil

Method:
  • Prep your fish - pin bone the fillets and score the skin finely, shell the prawns (keep the shells!) and remove the veins by cutting their backs open and fishing out
  • get a wide quite deep pan up to a medium heat &add a large nob of butter plus a splash of olive oil
  • add your veggies, garlic and spices (if using) and sweat them for a good 10 mins stirring occasionally - your looking for them to start cooking down, sweetening and getting a bit of color
  • now push the veggies to the side, turn up the heat a bit and throw in your prawn shells - cook for 3-4 mins until they're nicely coloured
  • now throw in the brandy and boil until almost all liquid gone
  • now add your tomatoes / tomato puree and herbs and mix everything around & cook bit more before adding the wine and about a pint of water, season with some salt and get it bubbling
  • cook for 30 mins until reduced to a couple of wine glasses in volume
  • strain through a fine seive and add to a new smaller pan, add the cream and reduce by about half (you want only about 2-3 tablespoons of liquid per person)
  • while the bisque is reducing boil your potato dice in salted water until just cooked drain and cover with some foil to keep warm
  • cook off your spinach in little butter and set aside again with some foil on top to keep hot
  • now season and pan fry your fish fillets in splash of oil on medium-high heat (dont turn or touch until skinis really nicely crispy)
  • similarly - season & cook the prawns (in the same pan while fish cooks if you like), just a couple of mins
Ok so to bring the dish together:
  • make sure your bisque is bubblin hot, taste for seasoning and add a nob of butter & some lemon juice
  • put mound of spinach in middle of each plate, then dot around the potato and tomato dice
  • divide the hot bisque between the plates and place a fillet on top of each pile of spinach with 3 prawns around it
  • finish with a sprinkle of herbs and a drizzle of oil
N.B as mentioned you can vary this in about 1 million ways - use almost any other type of fish fillet (think bream, hake, salmon, cod, brill etc); replace the 12 prawns with 1-2 (depending on how rich / generous you are) cooked lobsters - using shells for bisque and adding diced meat to final sauce; include mussels, scallops or clams; add saffron, use pernod etc etc!

Make bisque - you know it makes sense.

1 comment:

Gourmet Chick said...

This sounds quite doable and I remember seeing it on MC and thinking it looked amazing