Monday, September 27, 2010

Poached Fluke with Shellfish and Preserved Lemon

Poached dishes don't always sound appetizing-something about "boiled food"-but in fact they are complex and full of delicate flavor, especially when the poaching liquid is incorporated into a sauce that accompanies it. Poaching is not really boiling at all because the liquid should never boil, but just barely simmer, so that the food you're cooking has time to absorb some of the flavorfull poaching liquid as well as leaving their own flavors behind. It all starts with making a flavorful court-bouillon.

2 cups of water
1 cup white wine
1 onion, chopped,
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole cloves
sprig of fresh thyme

Simmer the ingredients for 1/2 hour, strain the vegetables and spices out, and use this liquid to poach the fish and shellfish. I had some fluke, bay scallops, and mussels. The more varieties of fish and shellfish the better.

In dishes like this, I like to poach everything separately. Once all of the fish and shellfish have been poached, you can start the sauce.

1 cup court-bouillon
2 cups heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1 cup cooked fresh corn, scraped from the cob, scrape the corn "milk" into the sauce
1 quarter of preserved lemon, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley and chives for garnish

Reduce the court-bouillon and cream by half.

Temper the egg yolk with the hot cream mixture and add it to the sauce, whisk thoroughly, at this point, do not let the mixture boil or the egg will cook too much and turned into scrambled eggs.

Add the lemon, juice, salt, and pepper and taste for seasoning-rember you are going to be adding all that fish and corn, so you can slightly overseason.

Once the flavors are just right, add the corn, fish, and shellfish to the sauce and just heat through-remember everything is already cooked.

Ladle into large soup plates and garnish with the parley and chives.

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