Wreck fish & crayfish with beurre noisette buckwheat

Wreck fish & crayfish with beurre noisette buckwheat

By
From
James Martin's French Adventure
Serves
2
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Wreck fish is a firm white-fleshed fish similar to grey mullet or sea bass, either of which can be used here, as can hake, cod or haddock. What I love about this dish is the buckwheat – it’s something we don’t use often enough, and the brown butter makes the most of its nutty, peppery taste.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
24 raw crayfish tails
50g butter
2 wreck fish or sea bass fillets, skin on, pin boned
100g samphire

For the bisque

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
50g butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
500g crayfish shells
2 tablespoons brandy
1 litre fish stock
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the buckwheat

Quantity Ingredient
100g buckwheat
50g unsalted butter

Method

  1. Start by blanching the crayfish tails. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the crayfish tails and cook for 1 minute. Immediately drain and refresh under cold water. Carefully pull the meat from the shells, reserving both the shells and the crayfish meat.
  2. To make the bisque, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and gently fry the shallots and fennel for 2–3 minutes until softened. Add the tomato purée and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the crayfish shells and brandy and cook for a further minute. Add the fish stock, bay leaves and parsley and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20–25 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then pour into a food processor and blend to a fine purée. Pass the purée through a sieve into a clean saucepan and season the bisque to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  3. Cook the buckwheat in a saucepan of simmering salted water for 10–15 minutes until just tender, then drain. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter. Once it has turned brown, add the buckwheat and sauté for 2 minutes until hot and coated in the butter.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan and add 25g of the butter. Once hot, add the fish fillets and crayfish meat and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining 25g of butter. When it’s hot, add the samphire and cook for 1–2 minutes.
  5. To serve, put some buckwheat on serving plates, then place some samphire alongside. Spoon some bisque onto the plate, then top with the wreck fish and crayfish.
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